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Histoire de l'électricité > OERSTED, Experiments on the Effect of a Current of Electricity on the Magnetic Needle, 1820.
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unless I am mistaken, contributes nothing to explain the phenomena hitherto observed.

All the effects on the north pole above-mentioned are easily understood by supposing that negative 
electricity moves in a spiral line bent towards the right, and propels the north pole, but does not 
act on the south pole. The effects on the south pole are explained in a similar manner, if we 
ascribe to positive electricity a contrary motion and power of acting on the south pole, but not 
upon the north. The agreement of this law with nature will be better seen by a repetition of the 
experiments than by a long explanation. The mode of judging of the experiments will be much 
facilitated if the course of the electricities in the uniting wire be pointed out by marks or 

I shall merely add to the above that I have demonstrated in a book published five years ago that 
heat and light consist of the conflict of the electricities. From the observations now stated, we 
may conclude that a circular motion likewise occurs in these effects. This I think will contribute 
very much to illustrate the phenomena to which the appellation of polarization of light has been 

 Copenhagen, July 21, 1820

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