William Gilbert as born May 24, 1544, Colchester, England and died November 30, 1603, probably in London. English physician to Elizabeth I and James I and scientific researcher into magnetism and electricity. He is the originator of the name "electricity".
His primary work was De Magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus, et de Magno Magnete Tellure (On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, and on That Great Magnet the Earth) published in 1600. In this work he describes many of his experiments with his model earth called the terrella. From his experiments, he concluded that the Earth was itself magnetic and that this was the reason compasses pointed north (previously, some believed that it was the pole star (Polaris) or a large magnetic island on the north pole that attracted the compass). In his book, he also studied static electricity using amber; amber is called elektron in Greek, so Gilbert decided to call its effect the electric force.
Gilbert's magnetism was the invisible force that many other natural philosophers, such as Kepler, seized upon, incorrectly, as governing the motions that they observed.
A unit of magnetomotive force, also known as magnetic potential, was named the gilbert in his honor.