287BCE

212BCE

Archimedes was a brilliant mathematician and inventor who lived over 2,000 years ago in the ancient Greek city of Syracuse, which is now part of modern-day Italy. He was born around 287 BC and spent most of his life in Syracuse. During this time, the city was a major hub of learning and culture, allowing Archimedes to immerse himself in various studies. Despite the challenges of living in an ancient world without modern technology, Archimedes made incredible discoveries that still influence the world today.

One of the most famous mathematical concepts associated with Archimedes is the idea of "pi," the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. He didn't invent pi, but he was one of the first to calculate it very accurately, using a clever method that involved inscribing and circumscribing polygons around a circle. Archimedes is also known for his work on the principles of leverage, which is directly related to the mathematics of forces and simple machines - a topic often covered in school physics and maths. Additionally, he developed a method to calculate the area of a shape, which is fundamental to geometry.

One of Archimedes' most remarkable discoveries was finding that the volume of a sphere is two-thirds of the volume of the cylinder that encloses it. He proved this by carefully studying the geometry of these shapes and using his knowledge of areas and volumes. From this, Archimedes derived the formula for the volume of a sphere: (4/3)πr^{3}, where r is the radius of the sphere. Archimedes was so proud of this achievement that he requested his tomb be marked with a sculpture of a sphere and a cylinder, symbolizing his most cherished mathematical discovery. This tomb, adorned with these symbols, stood as a testament to the significance of his work and his lasting legacy in the world of mathematics.

Archimedes was not just a mathematician; he was also a great inventor and scientist. He is credited with inventing the Archimedes screw, a device used to raise water, which is still used in some places today for irrigation. He also studied the laws of buoyancy and famously shouted "Eureka!" when he discovered that the volume of an object could be determined by the amount of water it displaces. This principle is still used in physics and engineering. Furthermore, Archimedes made contributions to astronomy and even proposed theories about the size and distance of celestial bodies.

Archimedes is an important figure in history because his work laid the groundwork for many areas of mathematics and science. His discoveries have been used for centuries and continue to be taught in schools today. Learning about Archimedes helps us appreciate the origins of the concepts we study and understand how one person's curiosity and determination can lead to knowledge that benefits all of humanity.

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Appreciate the work of Archimedes by trying some of the maths that this mathematician is known for.

There is an activity called Cylinders that you could try right now. Apply formulae for the volumes and surface areas of cylinders to answer a wide variety of questions

So there's no better time than the present to learn some mathematics from the past: let's Go!

THE HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS PAGE

Print this large QR code and display it on your classroom's History of Mathematics timeline.

When people scan the code with their phones, they'll be directed to this page about Archimedes.

https://www.transum.org/Maths/History/Mathematician.asp?ID=5