AOH :: ARCHIMED.TXT Biographical Info on Archimedes
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Archimedes    287? - 212 BC      Syracuse, Italy
Father of Experimental Science

- Discovered Laws of the lever and the pulley
- Discovered Basic Laws of Hydrostatics (Buoyancy etc.)
- Invented the Screw Pump for Irrigation
- Invented War Machines (the Catapult, Grappling Hooks)

He often boasted to his students:

"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the
Earth"

The Background Story on Archimedes:

Archimedes, b. c.298 BC, d. 212 BC, was the greatest mathematician of
ancient times. A native of Syracuse, Sicily, he was killed during its
capture by the Romans in the Second Punic War. Stories from Plutarch,
Livy, and Polybius describe machines including the CATAPULT, the compound
pulley, and a burning-mirror invented by Archimedes for the defense of
Syracuse.

He spent some time in Egypt, where he invented a device now
known as ARCHIMEDES' SCREW. Archimedes made many original contributions to
geometry in his work on the areas of plane figures and the areas and
volumes of curved surfaces. His methods anticipated INTEGRAL CALCULUS
2,000 years before it was "invented" by Newton and Leibniz. Archimedes
proved that the volume of a sphere is two-thirds the volume of a
circumscribed cylinder. Evidently he considered this one of his most
significant accomplishments, since he requested that a representation of a
cylinder circumscribing a sphere be inscribed on his tomb.

He was also known for his approximation of pi (between the values 310/71
and 31/7) obtained by circumscribing and inscribing a circle with regular
polygons having 96 sides. In theoretical mechanics, Archimedes is
responsible for fundamental theorems concerning the centers of gravity of
plane figures and solids, and he is famous for his theorem on the weight
of a body immersed in a liquid, called ARCHIMEDES' PRINCIPLE. A famous
story, unfortunately with no foundation, relates that having discovered
this while in the bath, he ran naked through the streets crying, "Eureka,"
or "I have found it."

Archimedes' treatises are remarkable for their original ideas, rigorous
demonst rations, and excellent computational technique. His surviving
works include On the Sphere and Cylinder, Measurement of a Circle, On
Conoids and Spheroids, On Spirals, On Plane Equilibriums, The Sand
Reckoner, Quadrature of the Parabola, On Floatin g Bodies, and Stomachion
(fragment only).

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