John Michell, an English geologist, publishes A Treatise on Artificial Magnets, which describes how to make strong steel magnets and gives an account of his discovery of the inverse-square law for the attractive and repulsive forces of magnets.
Perh Vilhelm Margentin writes a letter to the Swedish Academy of Sciences in which he comments on the effect of the aurora borealis on a magnetized needle.
Benjamin Franklin's letters to a colleague are published as Experiments and Observations on Electricity. The work includes Franklin’s views on positive and negative charges, the use of pointed conductors, improvements to the Leyden jar and a detailed plan for his famous kite experiment.
Franz Aepinus, a German natural philosopher, publishes his Tentamen Theoriae Electricitatis et Magnetismi (“An Attempt at a Theory of Electricity and Magnetism”), the first book to consider electricity and magnetism in terms of mathematics.
Johann Sulzer, a Swiss physicist living in Berlin, conceives and carries out an experiment that involves placing two dissimilar metals in his mouth so that they touch one another, producing a strange sensation in the tongue. This was essentially the first tongue test of a battery, and was repeated by many other scientists, including Alessandro Volta.
Joseph Priestley, an English pastor and science enthusiast, deduces that the law of force between electric charges must be the same as Newton’s inverse-square law for gravitational force. His History and Present State of Electricity is released, in which all data available in the field at the time is reviewed.
Johannes Wilcke compiles and publishes the first magnetic inclination chart that includes measurements from around the globe.