one of the scientists of ancient Greece worked during the Hellenistic period
of Greek science. Archimedes was born around 287 B.C. at Syracuse a Greek
city-state on the island of Sicily. Archimedes father was an astronomer
although little more is known about Archimedes personal life. Archimedes was
educated at the museum in Alexandria Egypt where historians believe that he
may have studied under former students of Euclid another ancient mathematician
famous for geometry. Archimedes
contributed to the fields of mathematics and geometry and created the fields
of statics, hydrostatics, and mathematical physics.
While in Egypt many ancient historians believe Archimedes invented the water screw, also called Archimedes screw, which made it easier to get water. The screw was made by twisting a pipe and placing it inside of a cylinder. When this device was turned it would raise the water through the tube and out the opposite end. Other historians, however, believe Archimedes invented this screw after his return to Syracuse when he needed to drain water from one of his friends ships. Some of Archimedes other inventions include the compound pulley, which made things much easier to lift, and a sphere that imitated the movement of the stars.
One of Archimedes most important discoveries, however, could be Archimedes principle. A legend goes that a king had ordered a new crown of solid gold, when he received his crown the king believed he had been cheated. The king asked Archimedes to help him find out if he had been cheated or not. After much thinking the idea of how to solve the problem came to Archimedes while he was getting into his bath. The story then says that Archimedes jumped out of the bathtub and ran down the street shouting eureka. What had happened is when Archimedes got into a full bathtub water was displaced and began flowing out. Archimedes got two bathtubs filled to the brim with water and first dropped an amount of silver equal in weight to the crown into the water. Then in the second tub he dropped an amount of gold equal in weight to the crown. Archimedes saw that the silver displaced more water than the gold because even though they are the same in weight they have a different volume. Archimedes then dropped the crown in a third tub and saw the crown displaced more water than the solid gold. Which means that the crown was not solid gold. This Discovery led to the development of Archimedes principle. Archimedes principle states that an object in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. Archimedes also did experiments with other devices like the lever that made it possible to lift weights many times greater than your own.
Some time later in Archimedes life between 213 and 212 B.C. the king Hiero died and the new leader of Syracuse allied with a group fighting the Roman Empire during the second Punic war. Archimedes fought against the Romans, during the siege on Syracuse, with huge catapults bigger than any ever built before. It was said that there was no protection from the huge rocks they shot through the air. Roman legions were knocked down in huge numbers by rocks thrown from the catapults. When the Romans finally conquered Syracuse, Archimedes was found drawing geometrical figures in the sand. He was killed by a roman soldier but was buried with full honors.