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Hans Christian Oersted

Hans Christian Oersted, 1777-1851, Danish physicist.

Oersted convincingly demonstrated the relationship between electricity and magnetism in 1820 by showing that a compass needle will move to right angles to a wire carrying electric current placed near it. He at once confirmed the hypothesis of Gilbert and laid the ground for the more sophisticated work of Ampère. The oersted is a unit of magnetic intensity, centimeter-gram-second electromagnetic unit of magnetic intensity.