Hans Christian Ørsted

Hans Christian Ørsted

Pt 2106
Leader of the Danish golden age!

Thanks to Google, hundreds of millions of people are today celebrating Hans Christian Ørsted’s birthday without having much of a clue who he is … so who exactly was he? … Probably not even the physics geeks remember much about Hans Christian Ørsted, although Google’s Doodle logo illustrates his key discovery. That is, if you run a current through a wire – in this case, from the battery at the front – then the electricity creates a magnetic field, which will deflect a compass needle. Thus the study of electromagnetism was born, and it’s the basis of a lot of modern life: it led to the development of electricity generators and transformers. Remember that next time you flick a light switch.

2 thoughts on “Hans Christian Ørsted

  1. amasci.com says:

    Also note that Orsted made his discovery while performing a demo for the physics class he was teaching.

    In modern terms …think of your high school physics teacher hooking things up wrong during a demonstration, and accidentally discovering gravity control, or teleportation. High-school physics teachers: one little slip, and civilization goes off on a different path.

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