Georg Ohm

Born in 1789 in the university town of Erlangen, Bavaria, his younger Martin Ohm also became a famous mathematician. Georg Ohm studied mathematics and physics at Erlangen University.

In 1805, Georg Ohm enrolled in the University of Erlangen.

However, instead of concentrating on his studies, Ohm dribbled away his time on extracurricular activities.

Johann, upon seeing that his son was wasting his valuable years and missing out on the educational opportunity, sent Georg Ohm to Switzerland in 1806.

Therein, Georg took up a post as a mathematics teacher in a school in Gottstadt bei Nydau.

In 1809, Karl Christian von Langsdorf left the University of Erlangen to take up a post in the University of Heidelberg.

Ohm too wanted to join him, but on the advice of Langsdorf, he read the works of Euler, Laplace and Lacroix.

For the same, Ohm left his teaching post in Gottstadt bei Nydau in March 1809 to become a private tutor in Neuchâtel.

During his free time, he continued his private study of mathematics.

This continued for two years, after which, in the April of 1811, Ohm returned to the University of Erlangen.

Georg Ohm had excelled in his private studies so much so that his own studies prepared him for his doctorate degree.

Ohm received his PhD degree from the University of Erlangen on October 25, 1811.

Immediately thereafter, he joined the department of mathematics as a lecturer.

However, this did not continue for long as Ohm left his position three months later due to less growth opportunity.

Since Ohm was poverty stricken, the meagre salary that he received from the university did not do much to uplift him from his pitiable state.

Next, Ohm took up the job as a teacher of mathematics and physics in Bamberg offered to him by the Bavarian government in 1813.

However, unsatisfied with this too, Georg began writing an elementary textbook on geometry as a way to give vent to his abilities.

In 1816, the school in which Ohm was teaching was shut down and Ohm was posted to another overcrowded school in Bamberg as a teacher of mathematics.

On 11 September 1817 Ohm had been offered the position of Oberlehrer of mathematics and physics at the recently reformed Jesuit Gymnasium at Cologne, and he began work there (evidently) sometime before the end of the year.

The ideals of wissenschaftliche Bildung had infused the school with enthusiasm for learning and teaching; and this atmosphere—which appears later to have waned—coupled with the requirement that he teach physics and the existence of a well-equipped laboratory, stimulated Ohm to concern himself for the first time avidly with physics.

He studied the French classics—at first Lagrange, Legendre, Laplace, Biot, and Poisson, later Fourier and Fresnel —and, especially after Oersted’s discovery of electro-magnetism in 1820, did experimental work in electricity and magnetism.

It was not until early in 1825, however, that he undertook research with an eye toward eventual publication.

On 10 August 1826 Ohm was granted a year’s leave of absence, at half pay, to go to Berlin to continue this work.

When his leave ended in September 1827, he had not yet attained his fervently sought goal of a university appointment.