Ohm's Birthday

The science giant whose shoulders I stand on the most, was born today, March 16 in 1789. Georg Simon Ohm was born to Johann Wolfgang and, Maria Elizabeth Ohm in Erlangen, Bavaria (now part of Germany). His father was a locksmith who taught his self advanced mathematics and science. Johann provided his children with an education in math and science superior to what was available in schools of the time. Georg drifted around a bit in his studies and was not very successful in earning a living from 1805 when he entered university until October 1811 when he received a doctorate from the University of Erlangen.

Georg’s work on electromagnetism began around 1825 and led to his publication of one of the fields most important books in 1827. The book, “The Galvanic Circuit Investigated Mathematically” contains what we now call Ohm’s Law. This elegant equation, E=IR, was a breakthrough in electromagnetism that was not widely accepted for many years. Ohm was awarded the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 1841 and became a foreign member in 1842. He died July 6th 1854 in Munich Germany.

In recognition of Georg Ohm’s tremendous contribution to science the SI unit for electrical_resistance was named the ohm. In combination with Kirchhoff’s circuit laws, Ohm’s law provides the foundation for so much electronics design that I use it nearly every day in one way or another. So Happy Birthday to Georg Simon Ohm the biggest of my personal giants.


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