- , COULOMB'S LAWCharles Augustin de Coulomb (1736-1806), born into a French noble family, had available all the advantages for a good education. He attended the engineering school at Mezieres, the first school of its kind, where he showed a remarkable aptitude in mathematics. He received an excellent practical and theoretical education and decided on a career as a physicist with the Royal Corps of Engineers, one of the few careers open to a person of his noble birth. He retired as a physicist from the French military at age fifty-three because of poor health.Coulomb pursued his interest in experimentation with electricity and magnetism, work he had begun while in the military, and invented a torsion balance system for measuring the force of magnetic and electric attraction. To understand his many findings, one must be an astute student in his field. For example, a coulomb is the quantity of charge transferred in one second by a current of one ampere. By international agreement, one coulomb is the quantity of electricity that deposits 0.00118 of a gram of silver. Coulomb published a treatise on the strength of materials which introduced methods still in use today. In 1777, Coulomb's magnetic compasses won a prize offered by the French Academy of Sciences, one of the world's most prestigious institutions.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.