(January 20, 1775 – June 10, 1836)

Brilliant, diligent and inquisitive, André-Marie Ampère showed early interest in mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy and philosophy. He spent his youth studying the works of Leonhard Euler, Daniel Bernoulli and Jean le Rond d’Alembert; and even published a treatise on Mathematical Probability. He was also one of the math lecturers who tutored Augustin-Louis Cauchy at the École Polytechnique, Paris; and mentored Frédéric Ozanam, who co-founded what later became Saint Vincent de Paul society. These early foundations would later bolster his career as a mathematical physicist. Shortly after Hans Christian Oersted discovered electromagnetism, Ampère tried to improve upon that by searching for interlinking theory which would further clarify the phenomenon. In the process, he discovered that a pair of current-carrying parallel wires either attract or repel each other: depending on whether the current flows in the same direction or in the opposite direction. He also devised formula which illustrated the magnetic forces between conductors that were transmitting electric currents. His famous two laws: the Force Law and the Circuital Law, respectively advanced magnetostatics and electrodynamics. While his force law dealt with the attraction or repulsion between two current-carrying wires, his circuital law which James Clerk Maxwell mathematically derived in 1861, showed how integrated magnetic fields around closed loops relate to the currents passing through those loops. In recognition for these contributions, the S.I. unit of electric current ampere (or simply amp) was named after him in 1881. He is also among the 72 illustrious Frenchmen whose names were immortalized on the Eiffel Tower.


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