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1629 __ « Philosophia Magnetica, in qua Magnetis Natura penitus explicatur, et Omnium quae hoc Lapide cernuntur, causae propriae afferuntur »
Nicolaus (Niccolo) (1585-1650)
Comment : Nicolaus Cabeo, a learned Jesuit of Ferrara, described numerous experiments made by him to ascertain the possibility of two persons communicating intelligence by means of magnetized needles. Cabeo was the scientist who in 1641 described a type of wireless telegraph, with the admonition that it would be impossible to realize in practice. In ca. 1620 he discovered that electrified bodies can attract not electrified ones and two electrified "electricians" repulse each other. However, he observed the repulsion without understanding it and promoted the air-displacement theory. Cabeo (or Cabæus) was the first to observe electrical repulsion, and he thus announced his discovery in the tenth chapter of “Philosophica Magnetica”: « Magnetic attractions and repulsions are physical actions which take place through the instrumentality of a certain quality of the intermediate space, said quality extending from the influencing to the influenced body. [...] (Bodies are not moved by sympathy or antipathy, unless it be by means of certain forces which are uniformly diffused. When these forces reach a body that is suitable they produce changes in it, but they do not sensibly affect the intermediate space nor the)Cabeus, in his Philosophia Magnetica (1629), describes how filings attracted by excited amber sometimes recoiled to a distance of several inches after making contact. Cabeo also relates his many experiments on the possibility of telegraphic communication by means of magnetized needles and gives the first picture of the sympathetic telegraph, an imaginary magnetic telegraph which sometimes appeared in early electrical literature, fancifully prefiguring the actual telegraph. It was supposed to operate by synchronous activation of two instruments with alphabetic dials whose needles had been magnetized by the same magnet. Cabeo (1586-1650), taught theology and mathematics in Parma for many years until he settled in Genoa where he taught mathematics. (Compiled from various sources)
French comment : En 1616, Famiano Strada dans ses "Prolusiones Academicæ" [...] parle de la possibilité de communiquer à l'aide de deux aiguilles aimantées, influencées à distance l'une par l'autre. Galilée, dans son "Dialogo Intorno", écrit de 1621 à 1632, Nicolas Cabœus, de Ferrare, dans sa "Philosophia Magnetica", reproduisent des descriptions analogues, non sans cependant élever des doutes sur la possibilité d'un semblable système. Un document du même genre auquel on a attaché une grande importance se trouve dans les "Récréations Mathématiques" publiées à Rouen en 1628, sous le pseudonyme de Van Elten, réimprimées depuis à diverses reprises avec des annotations et additions de Mydorge et de Hanrion et qui doivent être attribuées, paraît-il, au jésuite Leurechon. [...] (Aug. Guerout, "L'Historique de la télégraphie électrique", In "La Lumière Électrique)Journal Universel d'Électricité", 1e série, vol. 8, n°1-17, 1883, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité,3 mars, No. 9, pp. 257-264).
Source : Fleury Mottelay, Paul (1922), “Bibliographical History of Electricity and Magnetism, Chronologically Arranged”, Read Books (2008), pp. 109-110.
Source : Guerout, Auguste (1883), "L'Historique de la télégraphie électrique", In "La Lumière Électrique — Journal Universel d'Électricité", 1e série, vol. 8, n°1-17, 1883, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité,3 mars, No. 9, pp. 257-264.
Urls : http://cnum.cnam.fr/CGI/fpage.cgi?P84.8/266/100/572/0/0 (last visited )

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