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The National MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

Navigating Ørsted's Copenhagen

Trace the two-centuries-old steps of the discoverer of electromagnetism.

A map of Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a very cool city. Home of great design, bike culture and hygge (kind of a Danish approach to living well that roughly translates to coziness), it's well worth the visit. As the former home of science legends Tycho Brahe, Hans Christian Ørsted and Niels Bohr, it's an especially attractive destination for geeks. 2020 marked the bicentennial of one of the greatest feats in science history, Ørsted's discovery of electromagnetism.

Ørsted's discovery not only led to a technological revolution, it eventually paved the way for the powerful electromagnets, housed at special magnet labs across the world, that enable new discoveries about materials, energy and life itself.

This virtual voyage allows you to follow Ørsted's footsteps through 19th century Copenhagen, where he worked as a pharmacist, discovered electromagnetism and aluminum, founded a technical college and lived with his large family for most of his long life. You can follow the tour on your laptop or desktop. You can also open the link using your tablet or phone as your time machine, either through a browser or with the free Google Earth app, which is pretty cool.

Bon voyage! Or should we say, Hav en god tur!

Story by Kristen Coyne, Gif by Stephen Bilenky