Andre Marie Ampere, Mathematician

We can scarcely believe that Ampère really discovered the law of action by means of the experiments which he describes. We are led to suspect, what, indeed, he tells us himself, that he discovered the law by some process which he has not shown us, and that when he had afterwards built up a perfect demonstration he removed all traces of the scaffolding by which he had raised it.

James Clerk Maxwell

While riding in a carriage to a meeting at the Academy in Paris, Ampere was struck by a brilliant notion which he immediately jotted down: dH=ipdl/r^2 (in which p is the perpendicular distance from P to the line of the element dl; or DH = i sin 0 dl/r2). Upon his arrival, Ampere paid the driver, ran into the building to share his discovery, and promptly realized that he had written his notes on the inside of the carriage itself. After an extensive search of the streets of Paris, Ampere's runaway equation was found.

Internet Resources

Ampère had no contacts with anyone with any depth of mathematical knowledge so it is not surprising that he felt that his ideas were original.
J.J. O'Connor, E F Robertson
Andre Ampere, born in France in 1775, was ultimately responsible for developing the new and powerful model of electrodynamics, the union of electricity and magnetism. (entertainingly written lecture from a science course).
Jane Webb
In later life he was accustomed to say that he knew as much about mathematics when he was eighteen as ever he knew; but his reading embraced nearly the whole round of knowledge--history, travels, poetry, philosophy and the natural sciences.

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