Archimedes - Inventor, Astronomer, Mathematician, and Scientist

Archimedes was an Inventor, Astronomer, Mathematician and has become known as a famous scientist in ancient Greece. He was also the son of Phidias, who might have been a king. He was born in Syracuse, Sicily in 287 BC. The exact date is unknown as are many details about his life, but we do know that he went to Euclid School in 269 BC in Alexandria, Egypt.[1]

During his lifetime he wrote the books “On Spirals” and “Measurement of a Circle”. Some of the inventions he made were to solve some of the king’s problems, which he did frequently. One of them was The Claw of Archimedes (or The Iron Claw). The Claw of Archimedes was built behind walls for amphibious attacks; it was designed grab on to an enemy ship and capsize it.[2] He did not invent the lever, but he understood lever and pulley systems. He also made many discoveries in mathematics including his discovery of water buoyancy in 262 BCE. The story behind it is that the king received a new crown made purely of gold. But the king thought it may have a little silver in it to save the goldsmith some money, so he asked Archimedes to figure it out. Archimedes did find a way. If he figured out how much water the crown displaced, and how much water a piece of gold equal to the weight of a gold crown displaced, he would find the answer.[3]

For all his great advances, Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier when Syracuse fell to Rome after a two year long siege of the city. The soldier told Archimedes to follow him to his general. Archimedes refused and the Roman soldier got angry and killed him.[4]

[1] “Archimedes of Syracuse.” The Archimedes Palimpsest. (Accessed September 2, 2019)

[2] “Archimedes: Greek Mathematician.” Britannica. (Accessed September 2, 2019)

[3] “Archimedes’ Principle: Physics.” Britannica. (Accessed September 2, 2019) “Archimedes.” Ancient Greece. (Accessed September 2, 2019)

[4] “Archimedes.” Ancient Greece. (Accessed September 2, 2019) “Archimedes: Greek Mathematician.” Britannica. (Accessed September 2, 2019)

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