An important contributor to the establishment of a
system of absolute units for the electrical sciences,
which was beginning to become a very active area of
research and development. Established a definition
of electric current in an electromagnetic system
based on the magnetic field produced by the current.
He was politically active and, in fact, was dismissed
from the faculty of the University of Gottingen for
protesting the suppression of the constitution by the
King of Hanover in 1837. However, he found other
faculty positions and eventually returned to Gottingen as director of the astronomical observatory.
Received honors from England, France, and Germany, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society.