Milestone-Proposal:Ampere discovers Electrodynamics, 1820

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Docket #:2021-13

This proposal has been submitted for review.


To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1820

Title of the proposed milestone:

Discovery of Electrodynamics by Ampère, 1820

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

In 1820, André-Marie Ampère conceived and developed electrodynamics, the science of interactions between electric currents. He was able to make clear the distinction between voltage and current, and he brought magnetic and electrical phenomena together. Electrodynamics is the basis for electrical technologies including electromagnets, electric motors, and generators. This was recognised in 1881 with the international decision to use ‘ampere’ (A) as the name of the unit of electric current.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

France

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: IEEE France Section
Senior Officer Name: Claire LAJOIE-MAZENC

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: IEEE France Section
Senior Officer Name: Claire LAJOIE-MAZENC

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: IEEE France Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Claire LAJOIE-MAZENC

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Bernadette Bouchon-Meunier
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Proposer name: Philippe Ponchon
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Proposer name: Hélène Fischer
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

3 rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris, 48.84534°N, 2.34546°E

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. It is a historic building, one of the most prestigeous public academic scientific establishments in France

Are the original buildings extant?

yes

Details of the plaque mounting:

Proposed Milestone Plate to be fixed on the wall in “College de France” in Paris, where Ampere was the head of the Chair of Experimental Physics.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The “College de France” in Paris, is one of the most prestigeous public academic scientific establishments . Of course the place in which the plaque will be fixed will be well protected/secured

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

French Government

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836), bathed in the encyclopedic spirit of the French Enlightenment of the XVIIIth century, was engaged in nearly all disciplines of human thought. Mathematician, chemist, biologist, poet, linguist, philosopher, metaphysician. However, his genius literally exploded in 1820 as a physicist when, fascinated by the Danish Oersted’s experience, he developed in a few months the whole theory of electrodynamics. From his first contribution at French Science Academy on 18th of September 1820 to the first trimester of 1821, he built the main concepts which will become the cornerstone of Maxwell’s electromagnetism laws.

With Ampère, the phenomena of magnets are brought back to those of galvanism. These are due to electrical currents in planes perpendicular to magnets’ axis, including for earth’s magnetism.

Ampère is the first scientist who made clear distinction between current and voltage and the inventor of electrical current. This main contribution will be recognized during the first international congress of electricity in 1881 by naming “ampere” (A) the international unit of electrical current.

He highlights and characterizes the attractions and repulsions between currents. In particular, he defined a simple rule to determinate the direction and sense of the interaction between a conductor and a needle of magnet, the famous “Bonhomme d’Ampère” rule. He defined at the end of 1820 the formula for interactions between elementary conductors.

Ampère invented various astatic devices to overcome the earth’s magnetic field during experimentations. Ampère also invented solenoids, discovered the temporary magnetization of iron and invents electromagnets. He is the first to have the idea of the electromagnetic telegraph.

In 1826, Ampère publishes “Mathematical theory of electrodynamic phenomena uniquely derived from experiments” which concluded his intensive work on electrodynamics

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The birth of electrodynamics On July 21st 1820, Hans Christian Oertsed published his discovery that a compass needle was deflected from magnetic north by a nearby so called “electric conflict” Media:OERSTED.pdf which appears when a galvanic circle is closed on the poles of a battery. It was confirming a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism that Oersted had been looking for since 1818. But Oersted was quite confused by the results he was obtaining. His initial interpretation was that “the negative electricity from the north pole of the battery moves in a spiral line bent towards the right and propels the north pole, but does not act on the south pole. The effects on the south pole are explained in a similar manner …”(1) . For Oersted, magnetic effects radiate from all sides of a galvanic circle, as do light and heat. Ørsted's findings stirred much research into electrodynamics throughout the scientific community. The experiment was repeated in Geneva by De La Rive and in Paris by Arago. Indeed, it influenced André-Marie Ampère. However, it is Ampère who interpreted the experiment in a way that is still recognized today. His genius literally exploded in 1820 when he developed in a few months the whole theory of electrodynamics. From his first contribution at French Science Academy on 18th of September 1820 to the first trimester of 1821, he built the main concepts which will become the cornerstone of Maxwell’s electromagnetism laws. With Ampère, the phenomena of magnets are brought back to those of galvanism. These are due to electrical currents in planes perpendicular to magnets’ axis, including for earth’s magnetism. He made first a clear distinction between static and dynamic loads naming the types of electricity “electrostatic” and” electrodynamic”. Ampère is the first scientist who made clear distinction between current and voltage and the inventor of the concept of electrical current”. He highlights and characterizes the attractions and repulsions between currents. In particular, he defined a simple rule to determinate the direction and sense of the interaction between a conductor and a needle of magnet, the famous “Bonhomme d’Ampère” rule. He defined at the end of 1820 the formula for interactions between elementary conductors. Ampère invented various astatic devices to overcome the earth’s magnetic field during experimentations. Ampère also invented solenoids, discovered the temporary magnetization of iron and invents electromagnets. He is the first to have the idea of the electromagnetic telegraph. He carried out the first experiment highlighting the phenomenon of electric induction, but did not interpret it leaving Mickael Faraday the primacy of discovery. He invented a device for the continuous rotation of a magnet traversed by a current that prefigures the electrical motor. He had been narrowly beaten by Faraday with a dispositive of continuous rotation of a conductor. However, he remains a major contributor to this invention. In 1826, Ampère publishes “Mathematical theory of electrodynamic phenomena uniquely derived from experiments” which concluded his intensive work on electrodynamics

The international unit of electric current: This main contribution will be recognized during the first international congress of electricity in 1881 by naming “ampere” (A) the international unit of electrical current. The name “ampere” is confirmed in 1893 in Chicago during the second international congress of electricity. 1A deposits 1,18mg of silver to the cathode in a silver nitrate electrolyser, In 1946, with the MKSA system the (A) becomes a “basic unit”, 1A products a given force between conductors, based on Ampère’s force, up to May 20th 2019. Then, the ampere name of the unit is maintained but the definition is changed and becomes relative to the elementary electric load of the electron and the time unit (s).

André-Marie Ampère André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836), bathed in the encyclopedic spirit of the French Enlightenment of the XVIIIth century, was engaged in nearly all disciplines of human thought. Mathematician, chemist, biologist, poet, linguist, philosopher, metaphysician. However, his genius literally exploded in 1820 as a physicist when, fascinated by the Danish Oersted’s experience, he developed in a few months the whole theory of electrodynamics.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

A short and intense moment in Ampère's life, between 1820 and 1826, led him go down in history as the discoverer of electrodynamics. It brought to light a brilliant man animated by an incredible intuition associated with a remarkable intellectual audacity, and an ingenious experimenter despite an almost total absence of experimental measurements. But behind this facade also hides a tormented intellectual, torn between his own contradictions: his exchanges with Augustin Fresnel (1788-1827) lead him to be intimately convinced by a propagation from near to near in the “ether” to explain the existence of electromagnetic phenomena in matter which is consistent with his early vision, but in contradiction with the Newtonian formulation of his fundamental law assuming actions at a distance. Because of its audacity, Ampère's approach had the effect of a bomb in the scientific community: at first completely rejected, it then brought about a consensus thanks to Ampère's determination. The devices that he designed did not all exist, but they were objects of thought which allowed him to intertwine qualitative experiments and theoretical formulations, always in search of a logical homogeneity between the "universal judgment" of the theory and the "particular judgment" of the experiment, according to the expressions of G. Canguilhem. This exceptional scientific approach allowed Ampère to establish a universal law unifying electricity and magnetism, which made Œrsted's discovery a scientific revolution giving birth to electromagnetism.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

Media:Ampère_200 ans_HF_anglais.ppt

Media:Texte_Ampère_Milestone_HF.pdf

Media:Maxwell citation.pdf

Media:Mailloux and Crocker.pdf

Media:Blondel.pdf

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

See above

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to ieee-history@ieee.org with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).