André-Marie Ampere ALS

Lot Number 185
Author André-Marie Ampere
Title André-Marie Ampere ALS
Year Published
Place Printed
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Description Influential French physicist (1775–1836) who pioneered the discovery and understanding of electromagnetism; a unit of electric current was named in his honor. ALS in French, signed “A. Ampere,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 8 x 9.75, no date. Letter to Claude-Julien Bredin. In full (translated): “Although too much time has passed since I should have replied to your letter, it gave me much pleasure. I was so touched that you would find the time to write to your friend even though I write to you so rarely because I have let myself become absorbed by activities of which the larger part deals with essential truths and the other part about researches into new laws of physics about which I am passionate. I will therefore be pleased to see you in two and a half months. You cannot conceive what a pleasure it is for me. I don’t understand why one has not yet succeeded in doing my experiments in Lyon. I did them already some days ago. Those with the greatest success were done by means of apparatuses similar to those of Mr. Clerc [likely Francois Clerc, director of astronomical observatory and friend of Ampére] that were constructed here for several instructional institutions, and that are serving also like the simple battery of Wollaston’s [William Hyde Wollaston, British physician, known for work with microscopes] of 10 couplings with plates that are only three inches broad and 4 inches high. These batteries are the more convenient, of which one makes a lot at present. They cost 60 francs. While in Lyon I will show to misters Clerc and Socquet what is necessary to conduct these experiments and also new ones just as remarkable and important as the first ones. You will do me a great service to see Mr. Clerc or Socquet, for this purpose. I pray for your help to say to them first that as soon as I am in Lyon I want to do all these experiments with him, provided they would like a battery like that of which I have just spoken. Please make it known to me so that I could make one here that I could send to you in Lyon so that everything would be ready when I arrive so that I can immediately afterwards continue the experiments. I beg you to write to me of this subject because the success of these experiences in Lyon is extremely dear to my heart and I redden with disquietude that you will well ease my way on this subject that will torment me until you have responded to me. Dear friend, I would like to be able to tell you how much I love you, how much I carry with all my spirit the days of happiness when I will be able to see you. I beg you to give my regards to Mrs. Bredin and to repeat to her how grateful I am to be taken care of by her in Lyon. I am going to lie down. I suffer too much in my head and stomach. Your friend sends you kisses with tenderness, you know, but what you don’t know is the extent of my affection for you. Please write back to me.” In very good condition, with intersecting folds, scattered toning, several small repairs, paper loss to one edge from wax seal, and show-through from writing on opposite side. Following the work of Danish physicist Hans Christian Orsted, Andre-Marie Ampere began developing a mathematical and physical theory to explain the relationship between electricity and magnetism in 1820. Using a simple experiment to demonstrate the effect—placing a conducting wire on top of a compass in the direction North-South, then connecting the wire to a battery, causing the arrow of the compass to deflect—he hypothesized that the phenomenon known as magnetism was in fact inseparable from electricity. Showing that two parallel wires carrying electric currents attract or repel each other, depending on the direction of the currents, he laid the foundation of electrodynamics, while at the same time applying his training in mathematics to deduce physical laws from the experiments—the most important of which (now known as Ampere’s law) states that the mutual action of two lengths of current-carrying wire is proportional to their lengths and to the intensities of their currents. In 1827, he published his magnum opus, Memoir on the Mathematical Theory of Electrodynamic Phenomena, now considered the founding treatise of electrodynamics (electromagnetism). Written to his childhood friend M. J. Bredin, with whom he shared a lengthy and well-known correspondence, to encourage the demonstration of his experiment in their hometown of Lyon, this letter holds remarkable scientific content relevant to the experiments that secured Ampere’s place in history.
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Estimated Price USD 7,000.00 - 8,000.00
Actual Price USD 8,814.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House RR Auction
Website http://www.rrauction.com
Auction Name Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph - bidstart 12/19
Sale Number #421
Auction Date January 15, 2014 - January 15, 2014
Sale Name Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph - bidstart 12/19
Total Lots 1773
Description of Sale

Post Sale Description

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