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Contributions And Last Days Of Archimedes

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When Archimedes returned home, the king was faced with a problem because he didn’t know how to empty water from the hull of a ship, so he recurred to Archimedes. According to the article Archimedes of Syracuse, “Archimedes’ solution was to create a machine consisting of a hollow tube containing a spiral that could be turned by a handle at one end. When the lower end of the tube was placed into the hull and the handle turned, water was carried up the tube and out of the boat.” (Heath, 2017) This contribution is still being used in developing countries like India and countries in the South of Africa. This does now have its limitations, but it was the first model that later inventor utilized as a guide or blueprint.

He also invented the science of hydrostatics; this is also known as the Archimedes principle. Many historians tell the story of this discovery, he had been asked by the king to verify that his crown had the right amount of Gold, he had told his goldsmith to put. Because the king was suspected that goldsmith had put silver in the crown. Archimedes had a big challenge, because he could not melt the crown, and there was no other way of knowing what the king requested at the time. So in an occasion it is said that Archimedes was naked in a bath, and started to observe the water flow, and then he realized the upward buoyant force that is on a body when it is submerged in water or any other fluid, and depending on how much of the body is submerge, it will equal the weigh of the water in which the body acts in the upward movement at the center of the mass. (Heath, 2017) Or in simpler words, he realized that by putting an object in water and seeing how much the water moves, you can measure the volume. Today, this invention is still being utilized to solve problems that relate to pressure increase with depth and others.

Another discovery was that he found the areas of volume. He found areas and volumes of spheres, cylinders and plain shapes. Professor Heat stated that “He showed that the volume of a sphere is two-thirds of the volume of the smallest cylinder that can contain the sphere.” (Heath, 2017) Archimedes believed in this concept and was extremely proud of it to the point where had it engraved on his grave.

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An invention was the Archimedes claw, this was utilized as a defensive mechanism. The way it worked was men would hook it to the front of the upcoming enemy ships and would lift it out of the water and then dropped it to sink it. This left the defenders with one less problem to think about. And just to clarify, this invention is one that till this date is up to debate whether he designed and utilize such contraction. Because some historians today, think that early historians might have made it up, but a good chunk still believes that it was likely for him to invent such machine, so its left to the public to decide what they believe. Another defense invention that is less known but was extremely effective were the stone throwers. These stone throwers were capable to hurl more that 400-pound boulders at ships, and soldiers.

Because of these defense mechanisms, Archimedes gained fame during his time. Not only that but this man was able to hold off the invasion of the romans for at least 3 years, which is a pretty great accomplishment. He also develops scaling ladders, and these ladders would help the soldiers to climb over the enemy walls and attack more effectively. It is also said that he utilized mirrors to reflect sunlight on upcoming ships to burn them. And this is something that today has been tested to see its accuracy, and it can be done.

Last Days

Even thought Archimedes had great inventions, they were not enough to defeat the great Roman empire. I previously explained that Archimedes was found with instruments and the roman soldier thought it had value, so he killed him, but there is another theory. And that is that he was working on a theory and he wanted to at least finish it before he died, but he had taken his sword out, therefore the roman soldier got upset and killed him. It is said that once the roman emperor found out of his death, he got upset because he wanted to keep him alive. Which is completely understandable, this was a man that was working on a theory till the day he died. However, his work went on to inspire many more mathematicians, engineers, physics, who then discover new inventions and theorems. His principles and discoveries are still being used today. He is probably responsible for many more inventions, but unfortunately most of his work was burned and lost. The few that we know today comes from some copies that he had send to a friend of his. So much of his discoveries will remain a mystery.

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Contributions And Last Days Of Archimedes. (2022, February 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Contributions And Last Days Of Archimedes.” Edubirdie, 27 Feb. 2022,
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