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.