Ampère, André Marie

BORN 22 Jan 1775, Lyon - DIED 10 Jun 1836, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetière, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 30)

A.M. Ampère was born in Lyon and lived at the nearby Poleymieux-au-Mont-d'Or all his life. His father taught him Latin and he used this knowledge to study maths. His father accepted the post of Justice of the Peace in 1791. After Lyon refused to follow instructions from Paristhe city was besieged. After it fell his father was arrested and he died under the guillotine.

Ampère was devestated and didn't continue his maths studies for 18 months. Things went better after he met Julie Carron, the daughter of a blacksmith. He fell for her immediately and allthough at first she didn't return his affections, they were married in 1799. Ampère privately taught maths in Lyon until he became a professor in Bourg. He left his wife, who suffered from ill health, and his young son in Poleymieux. His wife died in 1803, a heavy blow that he never really overcame. During the next year he became a professor of mathematics in Lyon. In 1806 he remarried and he had another child, Albine, in 1807. But by that time he was living apart from his new wife Jenny and in 1808 a legal separation followed.

He also became a professor in Paris, where he conducted his studies on the relation between electricity and magnetism, calling this field of research electrodynamics. After he heard about the experimental results of Hans Christian Ørsted in 1820 he formulated a theory including a law of electromagnetism that is now known as Ampère's law.

He died in Marseille in 1836, but he was buried in Paris. There's a museum dedicated to him at Poleymieux-au-Mont-d'or.


The grave of A.M. Ampère at the Montmartre cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (08 Mar 1995)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
André-Marie Ampère - Wikipedia

Ancillon, Friedrich

Published: 24 Mar 2008
Last update: 1 Oct 2017