Ampere, the Etherians, and the Oersted Connexion

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kenneth Caneva, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: IN 1826 Andre-Marie Ampere published the 'Mathematical theory of electrodynamic phenomena, uniquely derived from experiment', in which he showed how the mathematical law for the force between current elements could be derived from four ingenious equilibrium experiments. He made a great show of following a Newtonian inductivist methodology, and his law, like Newton's for gravitation, was presented as a purely descriptive mathematical expression for a certain class of phenomena, one for which its author did not provide any causal or ontological justification. Ampere's electrodynamics would accordingly seem to have been a solid contribution to the Laplacian-Newtonian approach to physics so actively pursued in France during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. It does not surprise us to read that his electrodynamic force law and his molecular-currents theory of magnetism were immediately and widely accepted by his French contemporaries. Ampere was, in this view, just another of the many great French mathematical physicists of the period.

Additional Information

British Journal for the History of Science
Language: English
Date: 1980
History, History of Science, Andre-Marie Ampere

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