We describe two experiments made by the 18th-century physicists Francis Hauksbee and Pieter van Musschenbroek, designed to find the dependence of the magnetic force on distance. From the experimental results, given in the form of tables, the authors did not infer any simple law. We calculated the values obtained by assuming that the force varies as the inverse square of the distance and found a good agreement with their results. It therefore appears that these remarkable experiments could have provided an experimental proof of the law.
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