- Hans Christian Ørsted
name = Hans Christian Ørsted
birth_date = birth date|1777|8|14|mf=y
death_date = death date and age|1851|3|9|1777|8|14|mf=y
Hans Christian Ørsted (
August 14, 1777– March 9, 1851) was a Danish physicistand chemist. He shaped post-Kantian philosophy and advances in science throughout the late nineteenth century. [Brian, R.M. & Cohen, R.S. (2007). Hans Christian Ørsted and the Romantic Legacy in Science, "Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science", Vol. 241.] He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricityand magnetismknown as electromagnetism. He was also the first modern thinker to explicitly describe and name the thought experiment.
Early life and studies
Ørsted developed his interest in science while working as a young boy for his father, Søren Christian Ørsted, who owned a pharmacy. He and his brother,
Anders Sandøe Ørsted, received most of their early education through self-study at home, leaving home for Copenhagen in 1793 to take entrance exams for the University of Copenhagen. The brothers passed and distinguished themselves academically at the University. By 1796, Ørsted received honours for his papers in both aestheticsand physics.
In 1801, Hans received a travel
scholarshipand public grant that enabled him to spend three years traveling in Europe. In Germany, he met Johann Wilhelm Ritter, a physicist who believed there was a connection between electricityand magnetism. The connection made sense to Ørsted since he believed in the unity of nature, and, therefore, that a relationship must exist between most natural phenomena.
Their conversations drew Ørsted into the study of physics. He became a professor at the
University of Copenhagenin 1806 and continued his research with electric currents and acoustics. Under his guidance, the University developed a comprehensive physics and chemistry program and established new laboratories.
While preparing for an evening lecture on
21 April 1820, Ørsted developed an experimentwhich provided evidence that surprised him. As he was setting up his materials, he noticed a compass needle deflected from magnetic north when the electric current from the battery he was using was switched on and off. This deflection convinced him that magnetic fields radiate from all sides of a wire carrying an electric current, just as light and heat do, and that it confirmed a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism.
At the time of discovery, Ørsted did not suggest any satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon, nor did he try to represent the phenomenon in a mathematical framework. However, three months later he began more intensive investigations. Soon thereafter he published his findings, proving that an electric current produces a magnetic field as it flows through a wire. The
CGS unitof magnetic induction( oersted) is named in honor of his contributions to the field of electromagnetism.
His findings resulted in intensive research throughout the scientific community in electrodynamics. The findings influenced French physicist
André-Marie Ampère's developments of a single mathematical form to represent the magnetic forces between current-carrying conductors. Ørsted's discovery also represented a major step toward a unified concept of energy.
In 1825, Ørsted made a significant contribution to
chemistryby producing aluminiumfor the first time.
Ørsted was also a published writer and poet. His poetry series "Luftskibet" ("Airship") was inspired by the balloon flights of fellow physicist
Étienne-Gaspard Robert.National Museum of Denmark. " [http://www.natmus.dk/saer/aandeninaturen/engelsk/1802e/1802e.htm The Soul in Nature: 1802] ". Accessed 30 July 2007.]
Death and legacy
Ørsted died in 1851, and was buried in the Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen.
The 100 danske kroner note issued from 1950 to 1970 features an engraving of Ørsted.
Today, the buildings which are home to the Department of Chemistry and the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the
University of Copenhagen, are named "The H.C. Ørsted Institute" in his honor. Also, the first Danish satellite, launched 1999, was named Ørsted in his honor.
James Clerk Maxwell
:*Dibner, Bern, "Oersted and the discovery of electromagnetism", New York, Blaisdell (1962).:*Ole Immanuel Franksen, "H. C. Ørsted - a man of the two cultures", Strandbergs Forlag, Birkerød, Denmark (1981). (Note: Both the original Latin version and the English translation of his 1820 paper "Experiments on the effect of a current of electricity on the magnetic needle" can be found in this book.)
* [http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/oersted/index.html Interactive Java Tutorial on Oersted's Compass Experiment] National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
NAME= Ørsted, Hans Christian
DATE OF BIRTH=
August 14, 1777
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
March 9, 1851
PLACE OF DEATH=
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