Archimedes Essay, Research Paper

Archimedes was a Greek mathematician and

scientist. He was born in Syracuse, Sicily in the year 287 B.C. He was

educated in Alexandria, Egypt. Due to the lack of information about Greek

mathematics, many Greek mathematicians and their works are hardly known.

Archimedes is the exception. Archimedes was very preoccupied with mathematics.

For instance, he often forgot to eat and bathe because of his always wanted

to solve problems.

He found areas and volumes of spheres,

cylinders and plain shapes. He showed that the volume of a sphere is two-thirds

of the volume of the smallest cylinder that can contain the sphere. Archimedes

was so proud of this concept that he requested that a cylinder enclosed

a sphere, with an explanation of this concept, be engraved on his grave.

Archimedes also gave a method for approximating pi. He was able to estimate

the value of pi between 3 10/71 and 3 1/7. Math wasn?t as sophisticated

enough to find out the exact pi (3.14). Archimedes was finding square roots

and he found a method based on the Greek myriad for representing numbers

as large as 1 followed by 80 million billion zeros.

One of Archimedes accomplishments was his

creation of the lever and pulley system. Archimedes proved his theory of

the lever and pulley to the king by moving a ship, of the royal fleet,

back into the ocean. Then, Archimedes moved the ship into the sea with

only a few movements of his hand, which caused a lever and pulley device

to move the ship. This story has become famous because Archimedes said,

“Give me a place to stand on and I will move the earth. Another invention

he invented was the Archimedean screw. This machine was built for raising

water to highland areas in Egypt that could not receive water directly

from the Nile River. This device is still used today for irrigation purposes

even is some countries today.

The most famous story of Archimedes life

involves the discovery of Archimedes’ Principle. The story begins when

King Hieron asking a goldsmith to construct a gold wreath to the immortal

gods. After some time, the king came to suspect that the wreath was not

pure gold but rather filled with silver. In order to end his suspicion,

the king asked Archimedes to determine whether the wreath was pure gold

or filled with gold without destroying it. Archimedes agreed to try to

solve the king’s problem. Then one day, while he was taking a bath, Archimedes

noticed that the water level rose in the bath as he entered the water.

Archimedes was so excited by this discovery that he jumped out of his bath

and ran naked through the streets yelling, “Eureka, Eureka!!? meaning,

I have found it. Archimedes had discovered that a body immersed in a fluid

displaces its weight of fluid. This principle in turn helped Archimedes

prove that the gold wreath was not solid gold.

Archimedes was probably most famous during

the time he lived because he developed techniques defenses for Syracuse

against the Romans. Syracuse was able to hold off the invasion for three

years due to Archimedes?s inventions. He invented catapults, which hurled

blocks of stone, and cranes, which dropped large stones on approaching

ships. Also, he developed scaling ladders, which helped soldiers climb

over enemy walls. Archimedes can use mirrors to reflect sunlight on the

adversarial ships burning them.

The Romans finally invaded Syracuse and

overtook the city Archimedes was drawing circles in the dirt. When a soldier

commanded Archimedes to surrender, Archimedes instead drew his sword and

told the soldier that he wanted to finish the proof he was working on before

surrendering. The soldier became angry and killed Archimedes. This shows

that Archimedes was so committed to his expertise that he took the chance

to dying in order to work on his last problem. Archimedes was so thoughtful

with the study of math, and because of it, it led to many important discoveries

and principles for us today.

What helped me the most were encyclopedias,

books and the Internet. I think I got enough information to basically point

out the general account of it. I can?t really think of anything I can do

differently. I learned that Archimedes was a very significant man of his

time that was perfected pi, his principles and his inventions. He was far

beyond any man?s thinking capabilities.

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