Andre-Marie Ampere, French physicist

Andre-Marie Ampere, French physicist

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Credit: CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Andre-Marie Ampere (1775-1836), French physicist and pioneer of electrodynamics. Ampere also worked as a mathematician and chemist. From 1820 he began to study the new field of electromagnetism (then known as electrodynamics). He proposed the right-hand screw rule of magnetic deflection around a wire carrying an electric current. He proved that the deflection of a compass needle by a nearby electric current is proportional to that electric current, a discovery that led to the International System (SI) unit of electric current being named after him. This is an engraving of the 1829 bronze medallion of Ampere by French sculptor David d'Angers.

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