Born Aug. 14: Hans Christian Oersted
By Michael Baadke
Denmark is rightfully proud of physicist and chemist Hans Christian Oersted, and has issued two separate stamps to honor him as a scientific pioneer.
Oersted was born Aug. 14, 1777, in Rudkoebing, Denmark, on the island of Langeland. He studied at the University of Copenhagen, and became a professor there in 1806, researching electrical currents.
He observed that electrical current affected the needle of a compass and discovered electromagnetism through his research.
In 1825 Oersted also became the first scientist to isolate the element aluminum.
Denmark honored Oersted in 1951 with a 50-ore blue stamp showing his portrait (Scott 329). In 1970, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his discovery of electromagnetism, an 80o green stamp showing an electromagnet was issued (471).
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