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Thomas François Dalibard

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Died  1799

Thomas-François Dalibard (born in Crannes-en-Champagne, France in 1709, died in 1778) was a French physicist.


Relationship with Ben Franklin

He first met U.S. scientist Benjamin Franklin in 1767 during one of Franklin's visits to France and it is said that they became friends.

In 1750, Benjamin Franklin published a proposal for an experiment to determine if lightning was electricity. He proposed extending a conductor into a cloud that appeared to have the potential to become a thunderstorm. If electricity existed in the cloud, the conductor could be used to extract it.

Experiments with electricity

Dalibard & Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, translated Franklin's proposal into French and in May 1752 they performed an experiment using a 40-foot-tall metal rod at Marly-la-Ville. It is said that Dalibard used wine bottles to ground the pole, and he successfully extracted electricity from a low cloud. It is not known whether Franklin ever performed his proposed experiment.


Dalibard was the author of Florae Parisiensis Prodromus, ou catalogue des plantes qui naissent dans les environs de Paris (Florae Parisiensis Prodromus, or catalog of plants native to the area around Paris) (Paris, 1749).


Thomas-François Dalibard Wikipedia

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