Charles Du Fay, French chemist, was born on this day in 1698. He was well-known for discovering the existence of two types of electricity (“vitreous” and “resinous”; later, Benjamin Franklin renamed these “positive” and “negative”) He also observed the difference between conductors and insulators, and discovered that like-charged objects repel, while unlike-charged objects attract. These observations on electricity were included in a paper printed in Volume 38 of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1734.

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