Essay on Archimedes

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Archimedes, a name commonly associated with the beginning of science, was an engineer and one of the greatest mathematicians in history. His impact on modern science rests on his use of experiment and invention to test ideas and his use mathematics to describe the basic principles of physical phenomena.

Knowledge of the lives of ancient philosophers like Archimedes is not prevalent. We know from his writings that he grew up and spent much of his life in Syracuse, a Sicilian port on the Ionian Sea. His life spanned (approximately) the years 287 B.C. to 212 B.C. His father was the astronomer Phidias and he also mentioned his friend and possibly kinsman, King Hieron II (ruler of Sicily from about 270 B.C.). According to other authors,
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There are nine known works of Archimedes in existence. The last was discovered in a 10th century manuscript in 1906.

On the Sphere and Cylinder

Thought to be his first book, this work shows that the surface area of a sphere is four times that of a great circle (a line of shortest distance on a sphere). He finds a way to calculate the area of any segment of a sphere. This book also discussing one of his more important discoveries: that the volume of a sphere is two-thirds the volume of a circumscribed cylinder, and that the surface of the sphere is two-thirds the surface of the cylinder. These topics brought him close to inventing calculus and were very useful to Newton and Leibniz in the seventeenth century.

On the Measurement of the Circle

In this work Archimedes made discoveries regarding the value of pi. See Archimedes' Constant.

On the Equilibrium of Planes

In this treatise Archimedes discusses fundamental principles of mathematics using geometric properties. He discovered important theorems regarding the center

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