Archimedes laws and experiments - The history of a inventor

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Archimedes is said to be the greatest mathematical genius of all time. His achievements were phenomenal both in theories and in practical applications. He was a native of Syracuse in Sicily which was Greek colony. He went to Alexandria to study mathematics. There his teachers were the students of Euclid. Though his versatile mind touched many fields, he always considered himself a geometer. He made many mechanical inventions, but said they were all “the diversions of geometry of play”.

Archimedes 


The laws of hydrostatics

            He was acknowledged as the founder of two branches of physics namely statics and hydrostatics. According to a traditional story, the fundamental, concept of hydrostatics came to him while bathing. He felt that his body was losing weight in water. He found out that the loss of weight was equal to the weight of water displaced by his body. He formulated his famous law: “Anybody immersed in a liquid must lose weight equal to the weight of the liquid displaced”. He know that pound of silver occupies nearly twice as much space as a pound of gold. Thus the famous Archimedes principle was born and it said the every substance has characteristic density or specific gravity. His theory was connected with calculating the stability of floating bodies. It is called idea of equilibrium. This too had its practical application. It was used while designing ships that would not turn over.


The laws of the lever and pulleys

According to traditional tale, Archimedes once said to king Hiero : give me a place to stand on and I will move the earth”. The king was impressed but was slightly skeptical. He asked for a demonstration. Plutarch narrates the episode thus: The king had a large ship in the dock and it needed thousands of men to draw it out. Loading her with many passengers, Archimedes drew the ship in a straight line, as smoothly and evenly as if she had been on the sea. This he did all alone holding a pulley in his hand. It was a combination of pulleys now known as a pulley-block. His laws of the lever are the basis of operation of elevators and cranes.

The screw of Archimedes

Archimedes devised several ingenious contrivances. One of the best known was a form of pump, called the ‘screw of Archimedes’. It is a device for raising water. It became very useful for irrigation. It seemed to make water run uphill.

The first planetarium

He invented a sphere for demonstrating the motions of the planets. This may be called first planetarium. It was actually seen by Cicero, who wrote that it represented the motions of the sun and moon so well that eclipse could be demonstrated.

War machine



Most spectacular of his inventions were those designed to defend Syracuse against the invading roman forces. He made a colossal catapult. Plutarch says: it hurled immense masses of stone that came down with incredible noise and violence. No man could stand against it”. He also made crane which caught the enemy ships, hoisted them high in the air and then flung them back into the sea. He made iron beaks which seized ships and smashed them in to jutting cliffs. The roman legions fled in panic from the devastation wrought by Archimedes, war machines. Thus Syracuse was saved.

Archimedes laws and experiments - The history of a inventor Archimedes laws and experiments - The history of a inventor Reviewed by knowledge people creators on July 01, 2019 Rating: 5
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