Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854)

Georg Simon Ohm

1787 Georg Simon Ohm was born on the 6th of March, at Erlangen, within the family of a locksmith. His mother died when he was very little. Despite the fact he did not have much work to do, the father studied Maths and Physics from different books and when the son started to attend the high school, he made Georg be interested in sciences and taught him the basic knowledge.

1803 When he was 16 years old, Ohm started to study Maths, Physics and Philosophy at University in Erlangen. Because of the lack of money he must have interrupted the studies after one year and to search a job. He became a Maths teacher at Nidau, Switzerland, then at Neuchatel. Then, he returned to Erlangen, the place where he completed the studies.

1813 He got the doctorate. He was a particular lecturer at University for a while but because of the poor material conditions he had to leave again and to accept to be a Physics and Maths teacher for the real gymnasium in Bamberg.

1717 He left to gymnasium in Koln, where he made the most important discoveries.  In the Physics laboratory, by modest and imperfect devices, he did experiments by which he verified all he knew regarding electricity effects.

The experiences were complicated by EMF instability and by internal resistance of Volta element. That is why advised by Poggendorf he used a thermoelectric element made of bismuth and copper wire.

This source of electricity had a constant electric tension so that Ohm could study the influence of different conductors’ resistance on electricity. Initially he published the results of experiments within short essays. His most important discovery - according to which electricity intensity is directly proportional to tension and inversely proportional to the size that depends on the dimensions and features of conductor - was called Ohm’s Law later.

1826 He published this finding for the first time within the work called “Determination of the Law by which Metal Transmit Electricity”.

1827 He theoretically argued the law within monograph named “Galvanic Circuit Mathematically Processed”.

Ohm’s Law was not very trusted but was extremely criticized. Many physicists did not appreciate correctly the importance of this discovery. His work’s results’ ignorance and also poor material conditions on which he was forced to work made him suffer a lot.

1833 He got a job to Polytechnic in Nurnberg where he spent 16 years. He would have liked to go back to University but it was impossible.

Within his works, Ohm demonstrated that electric resistance is directly proportional to conductor’s length and to medium conductivity and inversely proportional to its cross section. He also demonstrated that the load on a circuit moves through entire section, not only to the surface. Then, Ohm focused on acoustic and optical phenomena research.

1849 His old dream became true: he was invited to teach as a Physics teacher at University in Munich.  He worked here for a short time, only five years.

1854 On the 7th of July, after a short illness he died. He was not married and had a modest life.

Ohm is the unit for electric resistance. It was called like this in his honour. 1 ohm is electric conductor resistance by which a continuously current of 1 amper goes, when at its ends a constant tension of 1 volt is used.[1]




    1. Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854),


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