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The Origin of Ohm's Law

June 24th Fact-of-the-Day

Georg Simon Ohm was born in Bavaria in 1789. His father taught him philosophy, chemistry, mathematics and physics. In 1806 he became a mathematics teacher in Switzerland. In 1811 he received a doctorate from Erlangen and became a mathematics lecturer there. In 1817 he took a position as professor of mathematics and physics at the Jesuit Gymnasium of Cologne. In 1820 he learned of Oersted's electromagnetism discovery and began experimenting with electricity in the school's physics laboratory where he convinced himself of what is now known as Ohm's law. In 1825 he published a paper that explains the decrease in electromagnetic force (which is proportional to current) around a wire as its length is increased. He published two papers in 1826 that mathematically describe electrical conduction in circuits. In 1827 he published his famous book Die Galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet, which contains what we now know as Ohm's law. His theories were scorned at the time and he was forced to resign his teaching position because of them. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.


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