Archimedes


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Archimedes was the most original and profound mathematician of his time. He was Greek and he was also physicist and a mechanical engineer.In the ancient world, people best knew him as an inventor. His writings that survived from his time period rank among the masterpieces of scientific literature. The were especially based on the sphere and cylinder. He was born in Syracuse which was the largest Greek settlement in Sicily.


archimedes.jpgArchimedes was born in the year 287 BC. He was born in the seaport part of Syracuse in Sicily. There are little records on his birth and he was said to have lived for 75 years. His fathers name was Phidias who was an astronomer. Historians have stated that Archimedes was related to King Heiro II, the ruler of Syracuse where he grew up. Apart from the fact that Archimedes lived in Syracuse and that he was related to the king, there is virtually no information about his childhood.

Archimedes was the son of an Aristocrat and he was a son of an astronomer. He studied for a while in Alexandria Egypt. Through out his life, he has written books. Some of which have survived for 1500 years. Archimedes has approximated the area of circles and the value of 1/4. He did this by summing the areas of rectangles that were inscribed and circumscribed and generalizing them and taking smaller and smaller rectangular areas and summing them. When he did this, he was able to find the other areas and volumes for many other shapes.

Archimedes lived in Syracuse and one day, the king asked him to find a way to tell if his crown was pure gold without smashing it. The crown weighed the correct amount, but their was no way to be sure if it was pure gold. He began to think about what he was going to do. One night, he lowered himself into a bathtub and noticed the water had been displaced by his body and flowed over the edge of the tub. This was the insight that Archimedes needed to figure out that the crown not only weighed the right amount but, it should displace the as the pure gold would. It was reported that he got so excited about this idea that he ran through the streets naked yelling "Eureka!" Which meant "I got it."

"Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth." These were the words Archimedes said when he discovered the law of levers and pulleys. It was almost impossible to challenge his statement directly at the time so they gave him a test. A ship that took a large group of laborers to put into position needed to be moved. They told Archimedes to do it to prove his theory and he did. He did it so easily by using a complex compound pulley system.

Archimedes was an inventor. He invented something called the Archimedes screw. It has been used to lift water to higher levels for centuries. It was originally used for irrigation in the Nile. The Archimedes screw consists of a screw inside of a hollow pipe. The screw is normally turned by a windmill or by Manuel labor. As the screw is turned at the tube, it scoops up a volume of water. The amount of water collected, slides up the spiral tube as crank is turned. The water then spills out the top of the tube when it finally reaches the top.

This invention was very useful and is still used in some irrigation systems today. The contact point between the screw and the surface is not perfectly tight because of large amounts of water being moved out of the body of water into higher levels. When water leaks from the top tube of the Archimedes Screw, its flows into previous sections and so on. A sort of mechanical equilibrium is achieved by using the machine which ultimately prevents decrease in mechanical efficiency. In some more primitive designs of the screw, the screw is fixed to the casing and it rotates all together instead of having a screw turning with in a stationary casing. The casing for the screw was made out of wood and the screw was typically made out of a single piece of bronze.
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The Archimedes screw had many uses. It was not only used for transferring water out of irrigation ditches. In one case, it was used to reclaim land from under the sea level in the Netherlands. A part of the sea where the screw was being used would be enclosed. When they would drain the water, depending on the size and diameter of the screws, more than one screw could be used at a time. It would all drain from the same body of water. The Archimedes screw is also used in sewage treatment plants because they will cope with various rates of flow and suspended solids.

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Archimedes was generally considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He used a method called the method of exhaustion to calculate the area under the arc of Parabola. He also defined the spiral bearing his name and formulas for the volumes of surfaces of revelation. Archimedes also developed an ingenious way of expressing very large numbers. He was said to also have invented some weapons to defend his city. He made something called The claw of Archimedes which consisted of a grappling hook that would be suspended and then the ship would run over it. The claw or grappling hook would go into the hull of the ship creating a hole and finally sinking it.

Archimedes Died during a time period called the Siege of Syracuse. He was killed by a Roman soldier despite orders saying he should not be harmed. He was one of the many great mathematicians throughout history. He made a major contribution to the mathematical world and if it was not for Archimedes, mathematics would not be what it is today. Some of his books have survived and been restored by historians and his writings are that of a genius. Archimedes was one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.