Oersted, Hans Christian

Oersted, Hans Christian

Hans Christian Oersted (Řrsted in Danish) was born on 14 August 1777 and he was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, which was the first connection found between electricity and magnetism. Oersted's law and the oersted unit (Oe) are named after him.

In 1800 Alessandro Volta reported his invention of the voltaic pile, which inspired Oersted to investigate the nature of electricity.

In 1820 Hans Christian Oersted published his discovery that a compass needle was deflected from magnetic north by a nearby electric current, confirming a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism. The often reported story that Oersted made this discovery incidentally during a lecture is a myth. He had, in fact, been looking for a connection between electricity and magnetism since 1818.

His initial interpretation was that magnetic effects radiate from all sides of a wire carrying an electric current, as do light and heat. Three months later, he began more intensive investigations and soon thereafter published his findings, showing that an electric current produces a circular magnetic field as it flows through a wire.

Oersted's findings stirred much research into electrodynamics throughout the scientific community, influencing French physicist André-Marie Ampčre's developments of a single mathematical formula to represent the magnetic forces between current-carrying conductors. Oersted's work also represented a major step toward a unified concept of energy.

The Oersted effect brought about a communications revolution due to its application to the electric telegraph.

Citing Wikipedia.org

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