Archimedes was a Greek scientist, mathematician and engineer. He lived in Syracuse, an ancient Greek city-state. Archimedes was born around 287 BC. He died in 212 BC at the age of 75. It is believed by some that Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier who did not know who he was. Not a lot is known about his personal life but without question he gave a lot to the scientific world. His father was an astronomer named Phidias. It is not known if he ever married or had children.

Archimedes has been given both the titles of “the father of integral calculus” and “the father of mathematical physics.” Along with Issac Newton and Carl Friedrich Gauss, Archimedes is regarded as one of the three greatest mathematicians of all time.

Besides being a brilliant mathematician, Archimedes was also a well known inventor of his time. He invented many of the machines used in war against the enemies of the Greek people.

Archimedes’ principle, states that a body immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. This principle applies to both submerged and floating bodies and to all fluids, liquids and gases. Archimedes’ principle explains why ships and other vessels can float on top of the water and also explains why a balloon rises in the air. It helps science to understand why some objects actually lose weight when place underwater. To decide if an object or body will float in a fluid or liquid, both the volume and the weight of the object must be taken into consideration. If an object has less density than the fluid it, will float or in some cases, such as a balloon, it will actually rise. If the density of the object is greater than that of the fluid, it will sink. If the body of an object is one half as dense as the liquid, then one half of the object will sink. This will displace an an amount of liquid that weighs the same as the entire weight of the object.

If an object is immersed in water, it feels lighter. The buoyant force of an object is not based on its shape or weight. It is based only on the weight of the amount of fluid that is displaced by the object. Archimedes’ principle applies to objects of all densities and shapes.

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