Hans Christian Ørsted

Danish physicist and chemist

Hans Christian Ørsted (14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist. He is best known for discovering a relationship between electricity and magnetism, a field now known as electromagnetism.[1]

Hans Christian Ørsted in 1842
A statue of Hans Christian Ørsted in a park in Copenhagen

Ørsted discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, which was the first connection found between electricity and magnetism. Oersted's law and the oersted (Oe) are named after him.[2] He also discovered that aluminium was an element.

Ørsted was also a writer and poet. His poetry series Luftskibet ("Airship") was inspired by the balloon flights of his physicist friend, Étienne-Gaspard Robert.


  1. Christensen D.C. 2013. Hans Christian Ørsted. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-966926-4
  2. His name is spelled "Oersted" in the standard English character set (labelling of keyboard).