World's Famous Scientist

# Archimides

Name : Archimedes

Born On : 287 BC

Died On : 212 BC

Place Of Birth : seaport city of Syracuse, Sicily

Life Span : 75 Years

Nationality : Greek

           Archimedes of Syracuse was a great Greek astronomer and physicist. He was also the most famous mathematician, engineer and inventor of ancient times. He is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Archimedes was born c. 287 BC, at that time a self-governing colony in Magna Graecia, located along the coast of Southern Italy. Archimedes spent most of his life in Syracus and got his education in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. He is known for his formulation of a hydrostatic principle which is now known as Archimedes’ principle. He also invented a device for raising water, known as the Archimedes screw. Archimedes anticipated modern calculus. He proved and derived a range of geometrical theorems, including the area of a circle, the surface area and volume of a sphere, and the area under a parabola.

          Other mathematical achievements include deriving an accurate approximation of pi, defining and investigating the spiral , and creating a system using exponentiation for expressing very large numbers. He was also one of the first to apply mathematics to physical phenomena, founding hydrostatics and statics, including an explanation of the principle of the lever and pulleys, which allow us to move heavy objects using small forces. Archimedes died during the conquest of Syracuse in 212 BC when he was killed by a Roman soldier during the Second Punic War, when Roman forces under General Marcus Claudius Marcellus captured the city of Syracuse. He was buried in a tomb on which was carved a sphere within a cylinder. This was his wish, because he believed his greatest achievement was finding the formula for the volume of a sphere. Heracleides, one of Archimedes’ close friends, had written a biography on him but unfortunately this work had been lost and there is not much information available about his life.


           The Method: Archimedes had written 'The Method' to reveal how he did mathematics. There were seven treatises from Archimedes in the book including The Method, which had been lost for many, many centuries.


  • Compound Pulley :
              A compound pulley system uses a fixed pulley and a movable pulley so that an operator is able to move a heavy load with less physical effort. The multiple pulley system is able to multiply the strength and pulling power of the winch, lowering the strain on the winch and the object being pulled.

  • Archimedes' principle :
              Archimedes' principle is a law of physics fundamental to fluid mechanics. It states that “the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces”.

  • Archimedes' screw :
              The Archimedes screw, also called screwpump, is a machine generally used for transferring water from a low-lying body of water into irrigation ditches. Water is pumped by turning a screw-shaped surface inside a pipe.

  • Archimedes’ Death Ray :
              Archimedes was created a giant iron claw, operated by virtually the entire population of Syracuse from inside the city's walls. Outside, the claw was capable of picking up entire Roman ships and plunging them into the sea. Archimedes used catapults and heavy timbers to hurl objects at the ships in the distance.

  • Heat ray :
              Archimedes used mirrors acting collectively as a parabolic reflector to burn ships which were attacking Syracuse. These rays were named as heat rays afterwards.

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