Ampère's most significant scholarly paper on the subject of electricity and magnetism, titled Memoir on the Mathematical Theory of Electrodynamic Phenomena, was published in 1826. The theoretical foundation presented in this publication served as the basis for other ideas of the 19th century regarding electricity and magnetism. It helped to inspire research and discoveries by scientists including Faraday, Weber, Thomson, and Maxwell.
Ampère was elected to the prestigious National Institute of Sciences in 1814, and was awarded a chair at the University of France in 1826. There he taught electrodynamics and remained a member of the faculty until his death. He was also a member of the Fellows of the Royal Society of London
Despite his celebrated accomplishments, Ampère led a rather tragic life. When Lyons was taken over by rebels during the French Revolution, his beloved father was a district judge. Because of his political affiliations, Ampère’s father was taken as a political prisoner and then publicly executed by guillotine, an event that severely scarred the young Ampère and led to a period of psychological depression. Later in life Ampère’s first wife met with an early death after a prolonged illness, and although he remarried, his second marriage was unhappy and unsuccessful.
Ampère died June 10, 1836 in Marseilles, France, and was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris. When Gustave Eiffel built his famous Eiffel Tower in Pairs in 1889, he included the names of 72 prominent French scientists on plaques around the first section at the base of the structure. The name of André-Marie Ampère is included in that distinguished memorial.
The ampere – the unit for measuring electric current – was named in honor of Ampère. In the past, an ampere was understood as the force generated between parallel electrically charged wires, but as scientific knowledge evolves over time, the definition of “ampere” sometimes changes slightly also. The current modern definition of ampere describes the ability of a specified current to deposit a precise amount of a substance on an electrode during electrolysis.