41 Facts About Archimedes


Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and inventor from the ancient city of Syracuse in Sicily.

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

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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.

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

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Archimedes was born c ?287 BC in the seaport city of Syracuse, Sicily, at that time a self-governing colony in Magna Graecia.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Since a ship of this size would leak a considerable amount of water through the hull, Archimedes' screw was purportedly developed in order to remove the bilge water.

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Archimedes' machine was a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade inside a cylinder.

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Archimedes' screw is still in use today for pumping liquids and granulated solids such as coal and grain.

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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.

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Claw of Archimedes is a weapon that he is said to have designed in order to defend the city of Syracuse.

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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.

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

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

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Pappus of Alexandria stated that Archimedes had written a manuscript on the construction of these mechanisms entitled On Sphere-Making.

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

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Archimedes proved that the area of a circle was equal to p multiplied by the square of the radius of the circle.

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

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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.

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

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Archimedes proposed a number system using powers of a myriad of myriads and concluded that the number of grains of sand required to fill the universe would be 8 vigintillion, or 810.

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

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The written work of Archimedes has not survived as well as that of Euclid, and seven of his treatises are known to have existed only through references made to them by other authors.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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So, since Archimedes led more than anyone else to the formation of the calculus and since he was the pioneer of the application of mathematics to the physical world, it turns out that Western science is but a series of footnotes to Archimedes.

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Galileo called him "superhuman" and "my master", while Huygens said, "I think Archimedes is comparable to no one" and modeled his work after him.

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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.

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Archimedes has appeared on postage stamps issued by East Germany, Greece (1983), Italy (1983), Nicaragua (1971), San Marino (1982), and Spain (1963).

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