Hans Christian Orsted, Danish physicist, c 1830.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 29cm x 32cm

Hans Christian Orsted, Danish physicist, c 1830.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving. In 1820 Hans Christian Orsted (1777-1851) discovered the relationship between electricity and magnetism by setting up a very simple experiment; he demonstrated that a wire carrying a current could deviate a magnetised compass needle by ninety degrees. Whilst unable to suggest a satisfactory explanation for this phenomena, his discovery did bring about the study of electromagnetism by others. In 1825, he became the first person to produce aluminium by isolating it in a powdered form.

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