45 Facts About Archimedes


Archimedes was one of the first to apply mathematics to physical phenomena, working on statics and hydrostatics.


Archimedes is credited with designing innovative machines, such as his screw pump, compound pulleys, and defensive war machines to protect his native Syracuse from invasion.


Archimedes died during the siege of Syracuse, when he was killed by a Roman soldier despite orders that he should not be harmed.


The date of birth is based on a statement by the Byzantine Greek historian John Tzetzes that Archimedes lived for 75 years before his death in 212 BC.


The standard versions of Archimedes' life were written long after his death by Greek and Roman historians.


Plutarch wrote in his Parallel Lives that Archimedes was related to King Hiero II, the ruler of Syracuse.


Archimedes provides at least two accounts on how Archimedes died after the city was taken.


The last words attributed to Archimedes are "Do not disturb my circles", a reference to the mathematical drawing that he was supposedly studying when disturbed by the Roman soldier.


The most widely known anecdote about Archimedes tells of how he invented a method for determining the volume of an object with an irregular shape.


Archimedes had to solve the problem without damaging the crown, so he could not melt it down into a regularly shaped body in order to calculate its density.


In Vitruvius' account, Archimedes noticed while taking a bath that the level of the water in the tub rose as he got in, and realized that this effect could be used to determine the crown's volume.


Archimedes' screw was turned by hand, and could be used to transfer water from a body of water into irrigation canals.


The world's first seagoing steamship with a screw propeller was the SS Archimedes, which was launched in 1839 and named in honor of Archimedes and his work on the screw.


Archimedes is said to have designed a claw as a weapon to defend the city of Syracuse.


Lucian wrote, in the second century AD, that during the siege of Syracuse Archimedes destroyed enemy ships with fire.


Almost four hundred years later, Anthemius of Tralles mentions, somewhat hesitantly, that Archimedes could have used burning-glasses as a weapon.


Archimedes' purported heat ray has been the subject of an ongoing debate about its credibility since the Renaissance.


Plutarch describes how Archimedes designed block-and-tackle pulley systems, allowing sailors to use the principle of leverage to lift objects that would otherwise have been too heavy to move.


Archimedes has been credited with improving the power and accuracy of the catapult, and with inventing the odometer during the First Punic War.


Archimedes discusses astronomical measurements of the Earth, Sun, and Moon, as well as Aristarchus' heliocentric model of the universe, in the Sand-Reckoner.


Pappus of Alexandria reports on a treatise by Archimedes dealing with the construction of these mechanisms entitled On Sphere-Making.


Archimedes was able to use indivisibles in a way that is similar to modern integral calculus.


Archimedes gives the value of the square root of 3 as lying between and in Measurement of a Circle.


Archimedes introduced this result without offering any explanation of how he had obtained it.


In Quadrature of the Parabola, Archimedes proved that the area enclosed by a parabola and a straight line is times the area of a corresponding inscribed triangle as shown in the figure at right.


Archimedes expressed the solution to the problem as an infinite geometric series with the common ratio :.


The works of Archimedes were written in Doric Greek, the dialect of ancient Syracuse.


Many written works by Archimedes have not survived or are only extant in heavily edited fragments; at least seven of his treatises are known to have existed due to references made by other authors.


Archimedes made his work known through correspondence with the mathematicians in Alexandria.


In Proposition II, Archimedes gives an approximation of the value of pi, showing that it is greater than and less than.


The introductory letter states that Archimedes' father was an astronomer named Phidias.


The Sand Reckoner is the only surviving work in which Archimedes discusses his views on astronomy.


Archimedes uses the principles derived to calculate the areas and centers of gravity of various geometric figures including triangles, parallelograms and parabolas.


Archimedes achieves this in one of his proofs by calculating the value of a geometric series that sums to infinity with the ratio.


The fluids described by Archimedes are not since he assumes the existence of a point towards which all things fall in order to derive the spherical shape.


Archimedes calculates the areas of the 14 pieces which can be assembled to form a square.


Reviel Netz of Stanford University argued in 2003 that Archimedes was attempting to determine how many ways the pieces could be assembled into the shape of a square.


Archimedes' Book of Lemmas or Liber Assumptorum is a treatise with 15 propositions on the nature of circles.


The foremost document containing Archimedes' work is the Archimedes Palimpsest.


Archimedes confirmed that it was indeed a palimpsest, a document with text that had been written over an erased older work.


Sometimes called the father of mathematics and mathematical physics, Archimedes had a wide influence on mathematics and science.


Historians of science and mathematics almost universally agree that Archimedes was the finest mathematician from antiquity.


Leonardo da Vinci repeatedly expressed admiration for Archimedes, and attributed his invention Architonnerre to Archimedes.


The inscription around the head of Archimedes is a quote attributed to 1st century AD poet Manilius, which reads in Latin: Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri.


Archimedes has appeared on postage stamps issued by East Germany, Greece, Italy, Nicaragua, San Marino, and Spain.