Andre-Marie Ampere, French physicist

Andre-Marie Ampere, French physicist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Andre-Marie Ampere (1775-1836). 1864 illustration of the French physicist and pioneer of electrodynamics Andre-Marie Ampere. Ampere's most famous work was from 1820, when he began to study the new field of electromagnetism. 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. The International System (SI) unit of electric current (the ampere) is named after him.

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