SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Engraving of Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish physicist, born in 1777 died in 1851. He is seen here with his assistant observing an experiment to demonstrate the effect of an electric current on a magnetic compass needle. This was the first demonstration of a connection between electricity & magnetism and in retrospect his experiment is seen as the foundation of the study of electromagnetism. His discovery was published in 1820. Oersted did not carry his experimentation with electromagnetism any further, but his discovery unleashed a whirl of activity in the field of physics. In 1934 a unit of magnetic field strength was named an oersted in his honour.
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