On the Magnet, by William Gilbert

Chap. xix.

Union with an armed Loadstone is stronger; hence greater weights are raised; but the coition is not stronger176, but generally weaker.

176 Page 88, line 2. Page 88, line 3. Coitio verò non fortior.— This heading to chap. xix., taken with the seven lines that follow, and the contrast drawn between unitio and coitio, throw much light on the fundamental sense attached by Gilbert to the term coitio. It is here clearly used in the sense of mutual tendency toward union. Note also the contrasted use in chap. xx. of the verbs cohære and adhære. Adhærence connotes a one-sided force (an impossibility in physics), cohærence a mutual force.

A n armed magnet raises a greater weight, as is manifest to all; but a piece of iron moves towards a stone at an equal, or rather greater, distance when it * is bare, without an iron cap. This must be tried with two pieces of iron of the same weight and figure at an equal distance, or with one and the same versorium, the test being made first with an armed, then with an unarmed loadstone, at equal distances.

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Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 22:17