Hans Christian Ørsted

Physicist, Academic

1777 – 1851

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Who was Hans Christian Ørsted?

Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism. He shaped post-Kantian philosophy and advances in science throughout the late 19th century.

In 1824, Ørsted founded Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse, a society to disseminate knowledge of the natural sciences. He was also the founder of predecessor organizations which eventually became the Danish Meteorological Institute and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. Ørsted was the first modern thinker to explicitly describe and name the thought experiment.

A leader of the so-called Danish Golden Age, Ørsted was a close friend of Hans Christian Andersen and the brother of politician and jurist Anders Sandøe Ørsted, who eventually served as Danish prime minister.

The oersted, the cgs unit of magnetic H-field strength, is named after him.

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Born
Aug 14, 1777
Rudkøbing
Also known as
  • Hans Christian Oersted
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Ethnicity
  • Danes
Nationality
  • Denmark
Profession
Education
  • University of Copenhagen
Employment
  • Professor of Physics, University of Copenhagen
    (1819 - )
Died
Mar 9, 1851
Copenhagen
Resting place
Assistens Cemetery

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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