About this Famous Person

André-Marie AMPERE

French André-Marie AMPERE

French physicist and mathematician

Source :  Emmanuelle CART-TANNEUR

Born: on January 20, 1775 in Lyon, France
Died: on June 10, 1836 in Marseille, France


André-Marie Ampère spent his childhood and adolescence at the family property at Poleymieux-au-Mont-d'Or near Lyon, France. His father began to teach him Latin, until he discovered the boy's preference and aptitude for mathematical studies. The young Ampère, however, soon resumed his Latin lessons, to enable him to master the works of Euler and Bernoulli. In later life Ampère claimed that he knew as much about mathematics and science when he was eighteen as ever he knew; but, a polymath, his reading embraced history, travels, poetry, philosophy, and the natural sciences.

During the French Revolution, Ampere's father stayed at Lyon expecting to be safer there. Nevertheless, after the revolutionaries had taken the city he was captured and executed. This death was a great shock to Ampère.

In 1796 Ampère met Julie Carron, and in 1799 they were married. From about 1796, Ampère gave private lessons at Lyon in mathematics, chemistry, and languages. In 1801 he moved to Bourg, as professor of physics and chemistry, leaving his ailing wife and infant son (Jean-Jacques Ampère) at Lyon. Her death, in July 1803, troubled Ampère for the rest of his life. Also in 1804, Ampère was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Lyon.

Ampère claimed that "at eighteen years he found three culminating points in his life, his First Communion, the reading of Antoine Leonard Thomas's "Eulogy of Descartes", and the Taking of the Bastille. On the day of his wife's death he wrote two verses from the Psalms, and the prayer, 'O Lord, God of Mercy, unite me in Heaven with those whom you have permitted me to love on earth.' Serious doubts harassed him at times, and made him very unhappy. Then he would take refuge in the reading of the Bible and the Fathers of the Church."

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See Also :

- Category Physicist, Mathématician