William Watson (scientist)

William Watson (scientist)

Infobox Scientist
name = William Watson
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image_width = 240px
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birth_date = birth date|1715|04|03|df=y
birth_place = London, England
death_date = death date and age|1787|05|10|1715|04|03|df=y
death_place = London, England
residence =
citizenship =
nationality =
ethnicity =
field = physician and scientist
work_institutions =
alma_mater =
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for =
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influences =
influenced =
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William Watson (3 April 1715 – 10 May 1787) was an English physician and scientist who was born and died in London. His early work was in botany, and he helped to introduce the work of Carolus Linnaeus into England. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1741 and vice president in 1772.

In 1746, he showed that the capacity of the Leyden jar could be increased by coating it inside and out with lead foil. In the same, year he proposed that the two types of electricity—vitreous and resinous—posited by DuFay were actually a surplus (a positive charge) and a deficiency (a negative charge) of a single fluid which he called "electrical ether", and that the quantity of electrical charge was conserved. (He acknowledged that the same theory had been independently developed at the same time by Benjamin Franklin—the two men later became allies in both scientific and political matters.)

See also

The following are named after Watson:

* The plant genus Watsonia
* The botanical journal "Watsonia"


* [http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Circuit/1858/frankle.htm Biography of Benjamin Franklin]
* [http://www.geocities.com/neveyaakov/electro_science/watson.html Biography of Watson]
* [http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/WatsonWilliam.html Biography at Wolfram Research]
* "Watson, Sir William", "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" 2004–2005

NAME=Watson, William
DATE OF BIRTH=1715-04-03
PLACE OF BIRTH=London, England
DATE OF DEATH=1787-05-10
PLACE OF DEATH=London, England

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