Charles de Coulomb

Charles de Coulomb (1736-1806) was a French engineer and a physicists. He is credited for building very sensitive torsional balances using torsional pendulums which allowed him to measure very weak forces. It also allowed to measure the density of earth. He started his career as an Engineer (we will call him a Civil engineer today) in military and was involved in building many forts and canals for France. In 1779, he was asked to report on the feasibility of a navigable canal in Brittany. He condemned the plan as expensive and unprofitable, but the bureaucracy saw it differently and penalized him. When asked to reevaluate the project, he came up with the same conclusions. His courage is something we can all learn from. An independent examination proved that he was right, but the experience left him sour, and he decided to focus only on the study of physics. The rest, as they say, is history. Who said bureaucracy is useless! Sometimes it can gift us jewels like Coulomb.