W hat a difference 226 years makes!
German physicist and mathematician, Georg S. Ohm—Patron Saint of this website—was born on March 16, 1789. In 1825 he was teaching school when he began research into Alessandro Volta’s electrochemical cell and discovered the relationship between Voltage and Current, expressed as Resistance, in an electric circuit. What has become known as Ohm’s Law was published in 1827 and widely criticized until 1841 when Georg Ohm became the 18th person to receive the prestigious Copely Medal from the Royal Society of London.
As an Electrician, and eventually a Bridge Electrician, there were two laws that I lived by: Ohm’s Law and the Law of Gravity. It’s not often that you get to be governed by two absolutes at once on a daily basis. I learned about Ohm’s Law in science classes and never thought that I would be using it to earn a living, much less using it for the title of a blog, or a weekly feature such as Multimedia Monday.
A college professor of mine told us a story one day about his experiences in World War II. He worked with the French Underground and was on the beach at Normandy with a radio providing the Allied invasion troops with information as they made their way towards shore. The professor said that one way that they knew if a town was friendly to the Resistance movement was to look for an Omega symbol scrawled on a wall or fencepost.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.”
— Revelation 22:13
New International Version
Ω is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is rumored to be the inspiration for the famous Kilroy-character of WWII graffiti fame. Whether you pronounce it, Ooooooooom, or chant it as, Auuuuuuuum, Ohm’s Law is a concept that makes our Digital World possible, harnessing electricity and directing it to power our gadgets, appliances and the computer monitor that you are reading this on.
“Overburdened with students, finding little appreciation for his conscientious efforts, and realizing that he would never marry, he turned to science both to prove himself to the world and to have something solid on which to base his petition for a position in a more stimulating environment.” —J. J. O’Connor and E. F. Robertson
Progress often times comes down to drive and perseverance. What do you love above all else? What would motivate you to sacrifice personal comfort, security and a family life? Georg Ohm committed his life to understanding the fundamentals of electricity. Let’s pause and remember his efforts on our behalf today. Ω