Biography Of Archimedes -

Biography Of Archimedes

Biography Of Archimedes


Archimedes was an inventor, mathematician, and astronomer. He was among the most prominent mathematicians of all time. Archimedes was known for being so focused on his studies that he forgot all about social conventions. He is famously said to have realized a principle in mathematics after seeing the displaced water from his bath. He was so excited to realize the significance of this, he shouted “Eureka!” and ran out onto the street naked. Although we cannot confirm this amusing anecdote, he was indeed a truly great mathematician who was in many ways centuries ahead of his contemporaries. Later, his works were rediscovered by Renaissance and Arabic scientists, who replicated his results and built upon them.

Archimedes was born in Syracuse, a Greek city-state in Sicily. Alexandria, Egypt was his school of education – a city that is well-known for its learning and knowledge. He returned to Syracuse, where he was a mathematician and inventor as well as an astronomer, philosopher, and astronomer. He maintained contact with mathematicians in Alexandria and gained a strong reputation as a mathematical genius even during his life. Archimedes was close with King Hiero II of Syracuse who used Archimedes to defend the city from the Roman invasion.

Theoretical mathematics was Archimedes’ greatest love. He wrote many treatises and corresponded regularly with mathematicians of his day. His brilliant mind led to many significant developments in the field. He also developed calculus that used infinitesimals. The 15th century saw the improvement of Archimedes’ calculus. Archimedes was also the first to accurately predict pie. He used the approximation method to show that pi must be greater than 223/71 or less than 22/7. His favorite proof was proving that the volume of a circle had 2/3 the surface area of a cylindrical of the same height.

Archimedes was curious and willing to challenge established views. It was generally believed that there were infinite numbers of grains of sand on earth. This was either impossible or inexplicable. In The Sand Reckoner Archimedes calculated by using a new method of counting that used powered numbers based upon the myriad (100.000). Archimedes proposed a myriad = 100,000,000. Archimedes estimated that the number of grains needed to fill the universe would equal eight vigintillions, or 8 x 10 63.

Archimedes also made important discoveries in mechanics. Archimedes did not invent the lever but he described its use and the mathematical underpinnings of levers. He also made practical innovations that helped sailors lift heavier objects than they could by themselves. Archimedes’ work on the lever was what led to one of his most famous statements.

“Give me something to stand on and I will move the Earth.”

Biography Of Archimedes


Biography Of Archimedes


Archimedes was also a notable astronomer. He made observations of solstices and calculated distances to the sun, planets, and stars using Pythagorean theory.

Archimedes was also asked to assist with matters of state. Archimedes was asked, for example, to prove that a crown is made entirely of gold or if it’s made up of silver. Archimedes was not allowed to cause damage to the crown. According to one account, Archimedes calculated the crown’s density by measuring the amount of water that was lost when it was submerged in water. Then he divided the crown’s mass by its weight. Archimedes was able to determine whether the crown was pure gold by knowing its density. Archimedes’ idea was born from a bath in water. He saw the water being displaced and had the idea. Archimedes was thrilled. Archimedes was so excited that he shouted “Eureka” meaning “I have found it”. He then ran off to the streets, without stopping to change his clothes. This great anecdote was not found in Archimedes’ writings. However, the legend has remained with Archimedes.

“Any floating object can displace its fluid weight.”

— Archimedes of Syracuse

Archimedes’ principle about buoyancy in fluids may be an alternative explanation for measuring the density of crowns. Archimedes wrote Floating Bodies (c.250 BC).

“Any object completely or partially submerged in a fluid is buoyed by a force equal to the object’s weight.”

This principle states that a body that has been partially submerged in a fluid will experience an apparent loss of weight equal to the fluid’s displacement of the body.

Archimedes’ greatest love was theoretical mathematics. King Hiero II, the Duke of Syracuse, employed Archimedes in the construction of inventions for the benefit of the civil population and the defense of the city. Archimedes may have been involved in the invention of the Archimedes screw. It is capable of lifting liquids and solids uphill against gravity. It was an important device that could lift water from low-lying areas to higher lands.

During the Second Punic War, the city was under siege by the Romans and General Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Archimedes invented many military defenses. This included a system of mirrors deflecting the sunlight to the Roman ships – either to set them alight or blind the sailors heading to shore. Another weapon was the Claw of Archimedes – it involved a long metal hook suspended from a crane-like arm. It was used to drop on invading ships to lift them from the water and possibly sink it. He is also credited with inventing a more powerful and the accurate catapult. Plutarch wrote in glowing terms about the impact Archimedes had on the defense of the city.

“When…the Romans attacked the walls in two locations at once, fear enveloped the Syracusans Archimedes, however, began to rev his engines and shot at the land forces with all kinds of missile weapons… That came down with incredible violence and noise… They knocked out all those who fell on them in heaps, breaking their ranks and filing.”


Biography Of Archimedes


The Roman General Marcellus wanted to keep alive the famous Archimedes, but Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier shortly after the city fell (in 212 BC). One anecdote suggests Archimedes was absorbed in his mathematical studies using a compass to draw circles when a Roman soldier demanded he surrendered and follow him. Archimedes replied. “Do not disturb my circles” or according to Valerius Maximus – “I beg of you, do not disturb this.’ The Roman soldier in a fit of anger killed Archimedes on the spot.

He was buried in Syracuse, with a model of his sphere & cylinder. Cicero later discovered the tomb of Archimedes in 75 BC.


Influence of Archimedes

Archimedes was many times ahead of his time. Despite many breakthroughs in mathematics, there were not enough skilled and intelligent mathematicians available to use and develop Archimedes’ work during the classical period.

“Modern mathematics was created with Archimedes, and it died with him for two thousand years.” It was revived by Descartes, Newton, and others.”

Eric Temple Bell, Development of Mathematics (1940).

Many of his works were lost or withdrawn from general circulation. Some of his works were saved and reprinted after they were discovered. This gave rise to an increase in the popularity of mathematics in Asia as well as Europe. In the 9th Century AD, Archimedes’ works were translated into Arabic. A version of Archimedes’ works in Latin and Greek was published in Editio Princeps, Basel in 1544. This was an influential work. Galileo was an admirer of Archimedes.


He was also influenced by his writings and invented a hydrostatic scale for weighing metals in air and water. Even more significant was Archimedes’ influence over mathematicians Rene Descartes, and Pascal Blaise. The Archimedes Palimpsest, which was overwritten in the 13th century with prayers, was founded in 1906. However, beneath it was original writings by Archimedes, which had been written first in the 10th century AD. It contains On Floating Bodies as well as “The method of mechanical theorems”.


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