Engraving of Andre Ampere, French physicist

Engraving of Andre Ampere, French physicist


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Andre Marie Ampere. Coloured engraving of Andre Marie Ampere (1775-1836), French physicist, mathe- matician and pioneer of electrodynamics. Ampere studied the magnetic effects created by flowing electric currents. He proposed the right hand screw rule of magnetic deflection around a current-carrying wire. He showed that two parallel wires carrying currents in the same direction will attract. He also proved that the deflection of a compass needle by a nearby current is proportional to that current, a discovery that led to the International System (SI) unit of current being named after him. In later life a number of personal tragedies made him mentally unstable.

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