The very sight of someone shouting eureka, eureka reminds us of Archimedes. Though the incident was funny but it was an amazing discovery that we use to date. This is just one achievement of Archimedes. He is credited to a lot many discoveries and inventions. In our Archimedes facts article, we will briefly talk about his life, the inventions and discoveries made by him. Let us start…
Archimedes Facts 1-10
1. Archimedes was born in 287 BCE in Sicily’s Syracuse city. His father was Phidias (as told by Archimedes himself), who was an astronomer.
2. Heracleides was a friend of Archimedes who wrote the biography of Archimedes. Unfortunately, the work of Heracleides is lost and we know near to nothing about Archimedes’ life.
3. It is speculated that he studied in Egpyt’s Alexandria. He was supposedly a friend of Conon of Samos. He referred Conon as his friend in two of his works.
4. He died in 212 BCE. He lived for around 75 years. Putrach gave details of his death. He mentioned that when Romans captured Syracuse, he was working on a mathematical equation or a diagram.
5. The soldier asked Archimedes to come and meet his general, Marcellus. When Archimedes didn’t agree to it the soldier got angry and he killed him with his sword.
6. Supposedly Archimedes was carrying some mathematical instruments and the soldier thought that it was of some great value and killed him.
7. When General Marcellus heard about Archimedes’ death, he was furious as he thought of him as a scientific asset and Romans lost such a great scientific asset.
8. His last words were most probably, “I beg of you, do not disturb this” referring to the mathematical apparatus that he was working on.
9. His tomb carried a sculpture which contains a cylinder and a sphere of the same height and diameter.
10. However, it is to be noted that all of the versions of ‘history’ are written way after Archimedes was gone. For example, the account of Syracuse’s siege in The Histories by Polybius was written some 70 years after the death of Archimedes. It is one of the main sources of information to know how Archimedes was, the war machines that Archimedes built.
Archimedes Facts 11-20
11. After decades or to be precise after two thousand years of his time (during 1600’s or Renaissance time), the focus of mathematicians fell on his work.
12. Like the knowledge of many civilizations and cultures, Archimedes gave hints to reach his discoveries and inventions but didn’t give a sure shot way to achieve it.
13. In short, he gave the problem and he gave the solution but how to reach to the answer in a technical and scientific manner, he never explained it.
14. This mystery was solved in 1906 when Professor Johan Heiberg found a book in a city of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul).
15. In this book, Archimedes gave the actual way how he did the math to get to the conclusions that he got.
16. Talking about his discoveries and inventions, the first one is the water screw. It works just like a corkscrew would do in an empty tube.
17. It can draw water from a lake, well or river. Oxford University’s Stephanie Dalley found that Assyrians found this way before Archimedes did.
18. King Hiero II gave an amount of gold to a craftsman and asked him to make a gold crown out of it.
19. The craftsman created the crown. When King Hiero II measured it, the crown measured the same as the amount of gold he gave, he doubted the craftsman to add silver in the crown.
20. He gave the task of knowing the amount of gold in the crown to Archimedes.
Archimedes Facts 21-30
21. Archimedes understood that different volumes of water were raised when different elements were dropped in the water.
22. Using this principle, he found that the mass of the crown is same but the volume of the gold used is less and the craftsman added silver to the crown.
23. He got this idea when he entered in his bathtub and the water level raised and some of the water fell outside. It was this moment that he knew that he solved the mystery of the gold crown.
24. He couldn’t contain his excitement and he ran outside naked to declare the news to the world. He kept on shouting Eureka! Eureka!
25. He is credited for the calculation of Pi. Pi is the number that you get when you divide the circle’s circumference by circle’s diameter.
26. Aryabhatta (during Gupta Empire), Indian mathematical genius, gave the value of Pi far more accurately than the value that is given by the Greeks.
27. Archimedes gave the formula for calculating sphere’s volume and surface area. He even gave Archimedes’ principle. It explains why objects like ships float on water.
28. Some of his other inventions and discoveries are Archimedes’ screw, claw of Archimedes (a crane like structure which would topple the enemy ships), infinite geometric series, heat ray (an apparatus used to focus sun rays on enemy ships which eventually lead the ships to catch fire).
29. He explained the concept behind laws of levers and pulleys. He said that if given a place to stand he can topple the earth with the help of his knowledge of levers.
30. He was responsible for the invention of machines which were crucial in destroying the enemy warships.