Compass used in Oersted’s original electromagnetism experiment, 1820

Image number: 10213630

Compass used in Oersted’s original electromagnetism experiment, 1820

Replica produced in 1931. The Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851), discovered electromagnetism (the interaction between electricity and magnetism) in 1820. In front of an audience of students, Oersted placed a compass needle directly beneath a wire, through which an electric current was passed, causing the needle to move. Oersted’s discovery sparked a surge in interest in electricity amongst European scientists.

Image number:
10213630
Credit:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Image rights:
Science Museum
 

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