Hans Christian Oersted

Discovery of the Relationship of Electricity and Magnetism

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Early Years

  • Born: August 14, 1777 in Rudkobing, Denmark

  • Physicist, Chemist

  • Discovered love for science through father’s pharmacy

  • Educated by homeschooling and private tutors

  • Went to the University of Copenhagen

  • Professor at Copenhagen

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Discovered

  • Electric currents create magnetic fields, first connection discovered between electricity and magnetism

  • Oersted’s Law

  • A compass needle deflected from north magnet when an electric current from a battery was turned on and off


“Our physics would thus be no longer a collection of fragments on motion, on heat, on air, on light, on electricity, on magnetism, and who knows what else, but we would include the whole universe in one system.”

- Hans Christian Oersted

Later Years

  • Discovered the element aluminium; able to distinguish it from other elements
  • Died: March 9, 1851 in Copenhagen, Denmark