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Hans Christian ØrstedReading Nature's Mind$
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Dan Ch. Christensen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.001.0001

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| 1820 | 1820 A Discovery by Chance?

| 1820 | 1820 A Discovery by Chance?

(p.336) 35 | 1820 A Discovery by Chance?
Hans Christian Ørsted

Dan C. Christensen

Oxford University Press

Ørsted invites his father to the Royal Deer Park to celebrate his discovery of electromagnetism. The crucial experiment witnessed by erudite colleagues is explained. Kant's dynamical theory is considered confirmed, but there is no thought of its technical utility. The pre-history of the discovery is outlined. Businesses that delayed the corroboration of his discovery are listed. Further businesses are added, e.g. the commission to calibrate and transfer the Danish standard of weights and measurements to Norway. Ørsted's notes on the second series of experiments are examined. Ørsted publishes his report in Latin, Experimenta circa effectum conflictus electrici in acum magneticam, and sends it to a selection of scholars in Europe. Finally, he celebrates his triumph with his family and goes on holiday in the countryside.

Keywords:   the crucial experiment, Kant's dynamism vindicated, no technical consequences, Ørsted's obligations. Experimenta published and distributed

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