Monday, January 25, 2010

Early Life of Ørsted . . .

In 1802 Gian Domenico Romagnosi had described electric current from a voltaic pile (an early type of battery) deflecting a magnetic needle. Although published in an Italian newspaper ("Foglietti Universali", Rovereto), this was largely overlooked by the scientific community.[3]
On 21 April 1820, while preparing for an evening lecture, Ørsted noticed a compass needle deflected from magnetic north when electric current from a battery was switched on and off. This deflection convinced him that magnetic fields radiate from all sides of a wire carrying an electric current, as do light and heat, confirming a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism. Three months later he began more intensive investigations and soon thereafter published his findings, showing that an electric current produces a magnetic field as it flows through a wire.
His findings stirred much research into electrodynamics throughout the scientific community, influencing French physicist André-Marie Ampère's developments of a single mathematical formula to represent the magnetic forces between current-carrying conductors. Ørsted's work also represented a major step toward a unified concept of energy.
In 1822, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Image and Information source: Wikipedia