Hans Christian Oersted

By Riley Rogers

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Lived: August 14th 1777- March 9th 1851

Location: Born and worked in Rudkobing, Denmark

Job: Worked in his father's pharmacy, Went to college to be pharmacologist, but became physicist

Fun Facts: His younger brother became prime minister of Denmark, He was taught fluent german by a wigmaker

Experiments and Discoveries

Hans did a famous experiment showing that electricity and magnetism are connected. It took place at one of his lectures in 1820. He passed electrical current through a wire, which caused a nearby compass needle to move, there for discovering that there was a link between electricity and magnetism. This would later be called electromagnetism. Not only that, but he was the first to isolate pure aluminum from aluminum chloride. Even though they wouldn't be able to use it for many more years.


Hans was lucky. He was friends with many famous scientists and was a teacher, so his discovery was just worked into his lectures, and people picked up on it almost instantly! The only problem was that he couldn't really explain how they were connected or how they impacted each other. But, he was the first to show that a connection existed.


Hans' discovery helped spark the interest of other physicists that would eventually find the specific tie between electricity and magnetism. They would also eventually be able to understand how electricity and magnetism impact each other. The discovery of electromagnetism paved the way for the eventual development of our modern technology-based society, and is the foundation of many other scientific concepts.