- , Amp, Ampere's LawWould you believe that a person so traumatized that he could not speak or read for more than a year went on to become a distinguished scientist, so distinguished that he gave his name to the English language? In every dictionary can be found the word ampere: a unit of electric current equal to the steady current produced by one volt acting through a resistance of one ohm.Andre Marie Ampere (1775-1836), a French scientist, lived so tragic a life as to make one wonder how his mind could have retained its brilliance. The tragedy that rendered him incapable of speaking at age eighteen was the execution of his father by guillotine during the Reign of Terror. With time, Ampere recovered his voice and at age twenty-four he married. A few years later, his wife died and Ampere ecame despondent once again.Ampere poured himself i o his work. While a professor of physics at the College de France in Paris, he made important discoveries relating to the nature of electricity and magnetism. He was the first to expound the theory that the earth's magnetism is the product of terrestrial electric currents that circle the globe from east to west. Through mathematics he made his greatest discovery, which formulated the law of mechanical action between electric currents and came to be known as Ampere's law. His discovery was instrumental in the development of the science of el rodynamics.Ampere invented the astatic needle, which made it possible to detect and measure electric currents, and contributed to the invention of the electric telegraph. The International Electric Congress, in 1881, lifted his name forty-five years after his death to designate the unit of intensity of electric current, abbreviated amp.Ampere did his best thinking while walking. He paced his room for long periods and became, possibly, the world's best-known peripatetic scientist after Aristotle.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.