The Versorium


William Gilbert invented The Versorium in 1600. In Latin, the word versorium means “turn around”. What the invention did was exactly what it meant. It would turn toward or away the object held near it. A long rod of any solid material was suspended from a string. The rod would be rubbed and then the object would be held near the rod. Rubbing the rod formed friction. If something placed near his versorium was not attracted it was a “non-electric”. If the object was attracted it was called “electric”. (http.// Versorium)


When people thought that the world was square, the versorium was placed on a magnetized sphere. It was put on different spots on the magnetized sphere and the point to which it turned was marked. Gilbert explains that after marking a number of points, you can discover the point at which all the points come together. The points, A and B, are the poles. A versorium placed near but not on the magnetized sphere as point D, would point directly at the pole. (http.// Elec. & Mag.)


A versorium is an electroscope and it is an electrostatic measuring device. It was usually a medal needle. The metal would be attracted to charged bodies of water that were near or close to it. They can do two things. They can indicate the presence of a magnetic charge or electrical field or indicate its quantity. A versorium is basically a compass for electricity. (http.// ask)


A compass is an instrument containing a freely suspended magnetic element that displays the direction of the horizontal component of the Earth\'s magnetic field at the point of observation. The magnetic compass is an old Chinese invention. It was probably first made in China during the Qin Dynasty. The Qin Dynasty was from 220 B.C to 206 B.C . Chinese fortune tellers used a mineral made up of an iron oxide that aligns itself in a north-south direction called Lodestones to construct their fortune telling boards. Eventually someone noticed that the lodestones were better at pointing out real directions, leading to the first compasses. They designed the compass on a square slab that had markings for the cardinal points and the constellations. The pointing needle was a lodestone spoon-shaped thing, with a handle that would always point south. Magnetized needles used as direction pointers instead of spoon-shaped lodestones appeared in the 8th century AD in China, and between 850 and 1050 they seem to have become common as navigational tools on ships. The first person recorded to have used the compass as a navigational aid was Zheng He. He made seven ocean voyages using a compass for directions. (http.// Compass)


Electricity is a form of energy involving the flow of electrons. All matter is made up of atoms. An atom has a center is called a nucleus. The nucleus contains positively charged particles called protons and uncharged particles called neutrons. The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons. The negative charge of an electron is equal to the positive charge of a proton, and the number of electrons in an atom is usually equal to the number of protons. When an outside force upsets the balancing force between protons and electrons, an atom may gain or lose an electron. When electrons are "lost" from an atom, the free movement of these electrons constitutes an electric current. Electricity is a basic part of nature. It is most commonly used forms of energy. We get electricity, which is a secondary energy source, from the conversion of other sources of energy, like coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power and other natural sources, which are called primary sources. Many cities and towns were built alongside waterfalls. Waterfalls are a primary source to mechanical energy that turned water wheels to perform work. Before electricity generation began slightly over 100 years ago, houses were lit with kerosene lamps, food was cooled in iceboxes, and rooms were warmed by wood-burning or coal-burning stoves. Beginning with Benjamin Franklin’s experiment with a kite one stormy night in Philadelphia, the principles of electricity slowly became understood. In the mid-1800s, everyone\'s life changed with the invention of the electric light bulb. Before 1879, electricity had been used in arc lights for outdoor lighting.