Author
photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Archimedes
Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer
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212
language of expression:
Ancient Greek
occupation:
mathematician, physicist, astronomer, inventor, combat engineer, writer, philosopher, engineer
Archimedes of Syracuse (; Greek: Ἀρχιμήδης; c. 287 – c. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time, Archimedes anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying concepts of infinitesimals and the method of exhaustion to derive and rigorously prove 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 bearing his name, 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. He is credited with designing innovative machines, such as his screw pump, compound pulleys, and defensive war machines to protect his native Syracuse from invasion.
Archimedes died during the Siege of Syracuse when he was killed by a Roman soldier despite orders that he should not be harmed. Cicero describes visiting the tomb of Archimedes, which was surmounted by a sphere and a cylinder, which Archimedes had requested be placed on his tomb to represent his mathematical discoveries.
Unlike his inventions, the mathematical writings of Archimedes were little known in antiquity. Mathematicians from Alexandria read and quoted him, but the first comprehensive compilation was not made until c. 530 AD by Isidore of Miletus in Byzantine Constantinople, while commentaries on the works of Archimedes written by Eutocius in the sixth century AD opened them to wider readership for the first time. The relatively few copies of Archimedes' written work that survived through the Middle Ages were an influential source of ideas for scientists during the Renaissance, while the discovery in 1906 of previously unknown works by Archimedes in the Archimedes Palimpsest has provided new insights into how he obtained mathematical results.
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series
0works
10Ostomachion
mathematical treatise attributed to Archimedes, surviving fragmentarily in an Arabic version and a Greek copy in the Archimedes Palimpsest, about a dissection puzzle
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author:
Archimedes
On the Sphere and Cylinder
work by Archimedes, calculating via the method of exhaustion the surface area of a sphere and the volume of a ball
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author:
Archimedes
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The Method of Mechanical Theorems
work by Archimedes, in the form of a letter from Archimedes to Eratosthenes, about the use of infinitesimals and mechanical analogies to levers to solve geometric problems
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author:
Archimedes
On Floating Bodies
book by Archimedes about the positions that various solids will assume when floating in a fluid, according to their form and the variation in their specific gravities
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author:
Archimedes
On the Equilibrium of Planes
treatise by Archimedes about the law of the lever, the centre of gravity of the triangle, the trapezoid, and the parabolic segments
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author:
Archimedes
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