Georg Simon Ohm

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Ohm, Georg Simon

(gā`ôrkh zē`môn ōm), 1787–1854, German physicist. He was professor at Munich from 1852. His study of electric current led to his formulation of the law now known as Ohm's lawOhm's law
[for G. S. Ohm], law stating that the electric current i flowing through a given resistance r is equal to the applied voltage v divided by the resistance, or i=v/r.
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. The unit of electrical resistance (see ohmohm
[for G. S. Ohm], symbol Ω, unit of electrical resistance, defined as the resistance in a circuit in which a potential difference of one volt creates a current of one ampere; hence, 1 ohm equals 1 volt/ampere. The megohm (1,000,000 ohms) and the milliohm (.
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) was named for him. He also made studies in acoustics and in crystal interference. His writings include The Galvanic Current Investigated Mathematically (1827, tr. 1891).

Ohm, Georg Simon


Born Mar. 16, 1789, in Erlangen; died July 7, 1854, in Munich. German physicist.

Ohm studied at the University of Erlangen in 1805–06 and then worked as a teacher in Gottstadt, Switzerland, from 1806 to 1809. He prepared independently and defended his doctoral thesis at Erlangen in 1811. He taught at Bamberg (1813–17), Cologne (1817–28), and Berlin (1828–33). In 1833 he became director of the Polytechnic School in Nuremberg, and in 1849 a professor at the University of Munich.

Ohm’s main works were on electricity, optics, crystal optics, and acoustics. In 1826, by carrying out a series of precise experiments, he established the fundamental law of electrical circuits (Ohm’s law) and in 1827 provided a theoretical foundation for it. Beginning in 1830 he devoted his time to acoustics. In 1843 he demonstrated that the simplest auditory perception is evoked only by harmonic vibrations into which the ear breaks down complex sounds (called the acoustic law of Ohm). In 1881 the name “ohm” was given to the unit of electric resistance (Ω). Ohm was a member of the Royal Society of London (1842).


Grundzüge der Physik. Nuremberg, 1854.
Gesammelte Abhandlungen. Leipzig, 1892.


Füchtbauer, H. von. Georg Simon Ohm. Berlin, 1939.
Gerlach, W. Georg Simon Ohm—Gedächtnis-Rede zur Feier seines 150. Geburtstages. Munich, 1939.


Georg Simon Ohm

(1789-1854) A German physicist who became Professor of Physics at Munich University, after whom the unit of electrical resistance was named.

Georg Simon Ohm

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