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The Childhood of Hans Christian Oersted

Oersted was born to Sren Christian Oersted, an apothecary, and Karen Hermansen. He was born in the small town of Langeland, Denmark, August 14, 1777. While he was a young boy, Oersted's parents put him and his younger brother in the care of a German wigmaker and his wife. This was simply because his parents did not have the time to raise the boys properly, with the demands of their jobs. While in Germany, the boys learned German and the basics of Latin and French. They also learned some math. When Hans turned eleven, he went to work at his fathers pharmacy. It was here that he picked up the beginings of chemistry. The two boys never went to school, but in 1794 they both passed the enterance exam at the University of Copenhagen with honors. There, Hans Christian studied a career in natural philosopy. This was the start of his enthusiasm with philosophy. At the University, Oersted studied pharmacy, astronomy, chemistry, and math. He got a pharmaceutical degree in 1797 with high honors.


University of Copenhagen