Hans Christian Ørsted (14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism. He shaped post-Kantian philosophy and advances in science throughout the late 19th century.
In 1824, Ørsted founded Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse (SNU), a society to disseminate knowledge of the natural sciences. He was also the founder of predecessor organizations which eventually became the Danish Meteorological Institute and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. Ørsted was the first modern thinker to explicitly describe and name the thought experiment.
A leader of the so-called Danish Golden Age, Ørsted was a close friend of Hans Christian Andersen and the brother of politician and jurist Anders Sandøe Ørsted, who eventually served as Danish prime minister (1853–54).
The oersted (Oe), the cgs unit of magnetic H-field strength, is named after him.
1.) Joseph McCabe (1945). A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers. Haldeman-Julius Publications. Retrieved 1 July 2012. "His name is still a classic in the literature of his science and he was in his time a man of high international repute. In regard to religion he was, like Goeth, a Pantheist, as he shows particularly in his Aanden i Naturen (2 vols. 1849)."