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How did the electrical term "ampere" originate?

Learn about Andre Marie Ampere and his vital contributions to physics.

An ampere is a measure of electrical current. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
An ampere is a measure of electrical current.

The ampere was named for Andre Marie Ampere (1775-1836), the physicist who formulated the basic laws of the science of electrodynamics.

The ampere (symbol A), often abbreviated as "amp," is the unit of electric current, defined at the constant current, that, maintained in two straight parallel infinite conductors placed one meter apart in a vacuum, would produce a force between the conductors of 2 × 10-7 Newton per meter.

For example, the amount of current flowing through a 100-watt light bulb is 1 amp; through a toaster, 10 amps; a TV set, 3 amps; a car battery, 50 amps (while cranking).

Newton (symbol N) is defined as a unit of force needed to accelerate one kilogram by one meter second-2, or 1N = 1KgMS-2.

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