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William Gilbert and Magnetism Reading Answers
Three passages and forty question types make up the IELTS Reading section. IELTS reading assesses a candidate’s comprehension and analytical abilities. IELTS Academic topic: William Gilbert and Magnetism is an IELTS reading sample. There are three types of questions in this IELTS reading passage:
#Match the headings.
#Select the correct response.
The 16th and 17th centuries saw two great pioneers of modem science: Galileo and Gilbert. The impact of their findings is eminent. Gilbert was the first modem scientist, the accredited father of the science of electricity and magnetism, an Englishman of learning, and a physician at the court of Elizabeth.
Prior to him, all that was known of electricity and magnetism was what the ancients knew, nothing more than that the: lodestone possessed magnetic properties and that amber and jet, when rubbed, would attract bits of paper or other substances of small specific gravity. However, he is less well-known than he deserves.
Gilbert’s birth predated Galileo. Born in an eminent local family in Colchester county in the UK, on May 24，1544，he went to grammar school, and then studied medicine at St. John’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1573. Later he travelled on the continent and eventually settled down in London.
He was a very successful and eminent doctor. All this culminated in his election to the president of the Royal Science Society. He was also appointed the personal physician to the Queen (Elizabeth I) and later knighted by the Queen.
He faithfully served her until her death. However, he didn’t outlive the Queen for long and died on December 10, 1603, only a few months after his appointment as a personal physician to King James.
Gilbert was first interested in chemistry but later changed his focus due to the large portion of the mysticism of alchemy involved (such as the transmutation of metal).
He gradually developed his interest in physics after the great minds of the ancient, particularly about the knowledge the ancient Greeks had about lodestones, strange minerals with the power to attract iron.
In the meantime, Britain became a major seafaring nation in 1588 when the Spanish Armada was defeated, opening the way to the British settlement of America. British ships depended on the magnetic compass, yet no one understood why it worked.
Did the pole star attract it, as Columbus once speculated, or was there a magnetic mountain at the pole, as described in Odyssey’ which ships would never approach because the sailors thought its pull would yank out all their iron nails and fittings?
For nearly 20 years, William Gilbert conducted ingenious experiments to understand magnetism. His works include On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, Great Magnet of the Earth.
Gilbert’s discovery was so important to modem physics. He investigated the nature of magnetism and electricity. He even coined the word “electric”. Though the early beliefs of magnetism were also largely entangled with superstitions such as that rubbing garlic on lodestone can neutralize its magnetism, one example being that sailors even believed the smell of garlic would even interfere with the action of the compass, which is why helmsman was forbidden to eat it near a ship’s compass.
Gilbert also found that metals can be magnetized by rubbing materials such as fur, plastic, or the like on them. He named the ends of a magnet “north pole’ and “south pole”. The magnetic poles can attract or repel, depending on polarity. In addition, however, ordinary iron is always attracted to a magnet.
Though he started to study the relationship between magnetism and electricity, sadly, he didn’t complete it. His research of static electricity using amber and jet only demonstrated that objects with electrical charges can work like magnets attracting small pieces of paper and stuff. It is a French guy named du Fay that discovered that there are actually two electrical charges, positive and negative.
He also questioned the traditional astronomical beliefs. Though a Copernican, he didn’t express in his quintessential beliefs whether the earth is at the centre of the universe or in orbit around the sun. However, he believed that stars are not equidistant from the earth, but have their own earth-like planets orbiting around them.
The earth is itself like a giant magnet, which is also why compasses always point north. They spin on an axis that is aligned with the earth’s polarity. He even likened the polarity of the magnet to the polarity of the earth and built an entire magnetic philosophy on this analogy.
In his explanation, magnetism was the soul of the earth. Thus a perfectly spherical lodestone, when aligned with the earth’s poles, would wobble all by itself in 24 hours.
Further, he also believed that suns and other stars wobble just like the earth does around a crystal core, and speculated that the moon might also be a magnet caused to orbit by its magnetic attraction to the earth. This was perhaps the first proposal that a force might cause a heavenly orbit.
His research method was revolutionary in that he used experiments rather than pure logic and reasoning like the ancient Greek philosophers did. It was a new attitude toward scientific investigation. Until then, scientific experiments were not in fashion.
It was because of this scientific attitude, together with his contribution to our knowledge of magnetism, that a unit of magnetomotive force, also known as magnetic potential, was named Gilbert in his honor.
His approach of careful observation and experimentation rather than the authoritative opinion or deductive philosophy of others had laid the very foundation for modem science.
IELTS Reading Questions with Answers
There are seven paragraphs in the first reading passage (A-G). From the list of headings below, select the appropriate heading for each paragraph. Fill in the blanks 1-7 on your answer sheet with the correct number i-x.
List of Headings
Early years of Gilbert
What was new about his scientific research method
The development of chemistry
Questioning traditional astronomy
Pioneers of the early science
Professional and social recognition
Becoming the president of the Royal Science Society
The great works of Gilbert
His discovery about magnetism
His change of focus
Early science pioneers.
Supporting Sentence: Gilbert and Galileo, two great forefathers of modern science.
Galileo and Gilbert are two important figures in the history of science.
The first line of paragraph A is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: This paragraph discusses two modern science pioneers and their contributions to the field. Because little was known about magnetism prior to them, they are responsible for the majority of advancements in the field.
Gilbert’s early years are the answer.
Gilbert was born before Galileo, which is a supporting sentence.
Gilbert’s birth is the subject of this article.
The first line of paragraph B is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: the paragraph provides a synopsis of Gilbert’s early life.
What is the difference between professional and social recognition?
Supporting Sentence: He was a well-known and successful physician.
Keywords: successful, eminent doctor.
The first line of paragraph C is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: The heading is appropriate because the paragraph discusses Gilbert’s responsibilities, honours, and recognition as a result of his professional success.
His shift in focus.
Supporting Sentence: he was initially interested in chemistry but later changed his mind due to a large amount of alchemy mysticism involved (such as the transmutation of metal).
Keywords: chemistry, alchemy mysticism.
The first line of paragraph D is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: Although he began by focusing on chemistry, he gradually shifted his focus to physics, focusing primarily on magnetism, which aided the British in their American settlement, where the Royal Navy’s ships were able to clear the oceans with his assistance.
What was his breakthrough in magnetism?
He looked into the nature of magnetism and electricity, for example.
Magnetism and electricity are two words.
The first line of paragraph E is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: Gilbert’s discovery of magnetism is considered one of science’s greatest achievements. His discovery paved the way for easier navigation at sea, as well as the development of electric theories.
Questioning traditional astronomy is the answer.
Supporting Sentence: He also cast doubt on long-held astronomical beliefs.
astronomical belief is a term used to describe a set of beliefs about the universe
The first line of paragraph F is where you’ll find the keyword.
He was one of the first to raise doubts about the Church’s astronomical theories. He debunked the notion that the stars were not all at the same distance from the Earth. He also made a number of claims about the magnetic properties of bodies in space.
What was unique about his method of scientific research?
Supporting Sentence:…instead of pure logic and reasoning, as the ancient Greek philosophers did, used experiments.
Keywords: Greek philosophers, experiments
The first line of paragraph G is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: He popularised the practise of conducting experiments rather than relying solely on logic and reasoning. He brought practical aspects of scientific research into the discussion. He used a method that included more than just opinions, such as close observation and experimentation.
IELTS Questions and Answers Part 2: IELTS Preparation
Which of the following statements corresponds to the information in Reading Passage 1? Fill in the blanks in boxes 8-10 on your answer sheet.
If the statement is true, TRUE.
If the statement is false, return FALSE.
If the information is not provided in the passage, it is NOT GIVEN.
He is not as well-known as he should be.
Before joining the Queen’s service, he was a well-known doctor who had lost faith in the medical theories of the time.
True is the answer.
Supporting Sentence: Nonetheless, he is not as well-known as he deserves to be.
He is less well-known, but he is deserving of recognition.
The last sentence of paragraph A is where you’ll find the keyword.
Explanation: Gilbert is credited with some of modern science’s most significant breakthroughs, which have improved the quality of life for everyone on the planet. His work, on the other hand, is not as well known and appreciated around the world as it should be.
True is the answer.
Supporting Sentence: He was also appointed as the Queen’s personal physician (Elizabeth I) and knighted by her.
Keywords: knighted after being appointed
2nd line of paragraph C as a keyword
Explanation: Prior to his career in science, he was a very successful doctor, which is why he was elected President of the Royal Science Society and appointed as the queen’s personal physician.
Answer 3: Not Given.
IELTS Questions and Answers Part 3: IELTS Preparation
Which THREE items are included in Gilbert’s discovery?
Metal can be changed into something else.
Garlic has the ability to dispel magnetism.
It is possible to magnetise metals.
The distance between the earth and the stars varies.
On its axis, the earth wobbles.
There are two types of electricity charges.
Answer 1: C,D,E
Answer 2: C,D,E
Answer 3: C,D,E
We hope that this reading passage topic will help you prepare for the IELTS exam. Were you able to respond without consulting the answers? If not, you’ll need to put in more practice time. To improve your IELTS preparation, look over the reading passage topics in IELTS Ninja’s blog section. IELTS Ninja’s top classes will help you achieve a band score of 8 or higher.