Georg Simon Ohm

Here we listed out important facts about famous scientist Georg Simon Ohm, with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 16 March 1789, Erlangen, Germany
Died: 6 July 1854, Munich, Germany
Nationality: German
Education: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Books: The galvanic circuit investigated mathematically, George Simon Ohm
Fields: physics (electricity)
Known for: Ohm’s law, Ohm’s phase law, Ohm’s acoustic law
Awards: Copley Medal

  • George Simon Ohm was born on 16 March, 1789 in Erlangen, Bavaria (now Germany).
  • George Simon Ohm came from a Protestant family. His father, Johann Wolfgang Ohm, was a locksmith while his mother, Maria Elizabeth Beck, was the daughter of a tailor.
  • Although is parents had not been formally educated, Ohm’s father was a rather remarkable man who had educated himself to a high level and was able to give his sons an excellent education through his own teachings.
  • Of the seven children born to Johann and Maria Ohm only three survived, George Simon, his brother Martin who went on to become a well-known mathematician, and his sister Elizabeth Barbara.
  • When they were children, Georg Simon and Martin were taught by their father who brought them to a high standard in mathematics, physics, chemistry and philosophy.
  • This was in stark contrast to their school education. George Simon entered Erlangen Gymnasium at the age of eleven but there he received little in the way of scientific training.
  • In fact this formal part of his schooling was uninspired stressing learning by rote and interpreting texts. This contrasted strongly with the inspired instruction that both George Simon and Martin received from their father who brought them to a level in mathematics which led the professor at the University of Erlangen, Karl Christian von Langsdorf, to compare them to the Bernoulli family.
  • In 1805 Ohm entered the University of Erlangen but he became rather carried away with student life. Rather than concentrate on his studies he spent much time dancing, ice skating and playing billiards.
  • Ohm’s father, angry that his son was wasting the educational opportunity that he himself had never been fortunate enough to experience, demanded that Ohm leave the university after three semesters.
  • Ohm went (or more accurately, was sent) to Switzerland where, in September, 1806, he took up a post as  a mathematics teacher in a school in Gottstadt bei Nydau.
  • Langsdorf, however, advised Ohm to continue with his studies of mathematics on his own, advising Ohm to read the works of Euler, Laplace and Lacroix.
  • In April 1811 he returned to the University of Erlangen. His private studies had stood him in good stead for he received a doctorate from Erlangen on 25 October, 1811 and immediately joined the staff as a mathematics lecturer.
  • In fact he had already convinced himself of the truth of what we call today “Ohm’s Law” namely the relationship that the current through most materials is directly proportional to the potential difference applied across the material.
  • The result was not contained in Ohm’s firsts paper published in 1825, however, for this paper examines the decrease in the electromagnetic force produced by a wire as the length of the wire increased.
  • The paper deduced mathematical relationships based purely on the experimental evidence that Ohm had tabulated.
  • In two important papers in 1826, Ohm gave a mathematical description of conduction in circuits modeled on Fourier’s study of heat conduction.
  • The second certainly is the first step in a comprehensive theory which Ohm was able to give in his famous book published in the following years.
  • What is now known as Ohm’s law appears in this famous book Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet (1827) in which he gave his complete theory of electricity.
  • His theory was conceived as a strict deductive system based on three fundamental laws, he nowhere indicated precisely which of their several mathematical and verbal expressions he wished to be taken as the canonical form.
  • It is interesting that Ohm’s presents his theory as one of contigunous action, a theory which opposed the concept of action at a distance.
  • A detailed study of the conceptual framework used by Ohm in formulating Ohm’s law is given in.
  • His work was eventually recognized by the Royal Society with its award of the Copley Medal in 1841.
  • He became a foreign member of the Royal Society in 1842. Other academies such as those in Berlin and Turin elected him a corresponding member, and in 1845 he became a full member of the Bravarian Academy.
  • Electricity was not the only topic on which Ohm undertook research, and not the only topic in which he ended up in controversy.
  • In 1843 he stated the fundamental principle of physiological acoustics, concerned with the way I which one hears combination tones.
  • However the assumptions which he made in his mathematical derivation were not totally justified and this resulted in a bitter dispute with the physicist August seebeck.
  • In 1849 Ohm took up a post in Munich as curator of the Bravarian Academy’s physical cabinet and began to lecture at the University of Munich.
  • Only in 1852, two years before his death, did Ohm achieve his lifelong ambition of being appointed to the chair of physics at the University of Munich. Geoge Simon Ohm died on 6 July, 1854 in Munich, Bravaria, Germany.

Georg Simon Ohm

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