Archimedes biography
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Archimedes biography

Archimedes of Syracuse considered one of the most transcendental scientists of ancient age. The Greek physicist, mathematician, astronomer, engineer and inventor from Syracuse was born in Sicily, around the year 287 b.C. and died around 212 b.C. with approximately 75 years of age. He is attributed to the greatest importance for his scientific work in ancient Greece and classical times.



Their contributions are given in the statics and hydrostatics, laying the foundations of these. The various machines he invented are fundamental, such as the Archimedes screw, or the Lever. He created siege weapons based on the basis of his other inventions. His contributions in the field of mathematics position him as the greatest in antiquity. He managed to give an almost precise approximation on the Pi. He calculated the area of ​​a parabola using the exhaustive method.

His death is due to the unrest in the Second Punic War. The Roman Republic, under the direction of Marco Claudio Marcelo, besieged Siracusa between the years 214 and 212 b.C. A soldier killed the mathematician. There was an order that protected him, but it was ignored. In the year 530 b.C., the first compilation of his mathematical writings was created. It was made by Isidoro, a Greek from Miletus. The work of the mathematician has been of great importance for the Renaissance period and few copies are available so far. The Palimpsest of Archimedes turns out to be the key to understanding how he managed to reach the knowledge he possessed.

Archimedes was born in Syracuse of Magna Graecia, in Sicily, Italy. Juan Tzetzes, taking the date of his death, deduced that he lived around 75 years. His father was Phidias, an astronomer, whose name appears in The Spotted Sand, a corrupt passage that receives the Greek name of ψαμμίτης. The biography that was written about Archimedes was in charge of Heracleides, unfortunately, it was lost, and with it the details of the mathematician’s life. Plutarch related it to Hiero II, but the tyrant of Syracuse may or may not have been really related to Archimedes.

It is not known if he had offspring, nor is his genealogy necessary. It is said that part of their knowledge was acquired in Egypt, Alexandria. Diodoro Sículo corroborated it; in youth, Archimedes visited that city, his work thus refers to scientists who came from those lands. The references given by Polibio, Livy, and Plutarch, on the machines invented by Archimedes, speak of the panic felt by the Romans during the siege of Syracuse. The defender of the city acted as a true engineer of the war.

After the death of Archimedes, Marcelo was deeply upset because of the loss of a great mathematician. The reasons are not very clear. Plutarch established three possible versions of death. The first emphasizes arrogance; with which, the mathematician refuses to abandon the problem he was working on and refuses to see Marcelo. The soldier saw no option but to kill him. The second that speaks of his love for mathematics, by asking the soldier more time to solve the problem he had at that moment, and by refusing, the soldier killed him. The third speaks of how the soldier murdered Archimedes thinking that the mathematical tools he carried were of great value. Tito Livio delivered a version in which the circumstances are a bit impartial; the soldier found the mathematician on his back and decides to kill him without knowing who he was.

The tomb had a circle engraved inside a cylindrical figure. The descriptions are given by Cicero, who visited the tomb. Such inscription refers to the discovery of the volume of the spheres. The area and volume, according to the studies of Archimedes, correspond to two-thirds of the cylinder. Cicero said that, despite the difficulties, he found the grave. It is situated at the door of Agrigento, a city of Italy, in Syracuse. The tomb was neglected and covered by dust and shrubs. When he cleaned it, he discovered the inscription and the various verses written there.

The story about how to calculate the volume of irregular objects involves Hiero II. H thought that goldsmiths could use silver in their gold orders. Archimedes thought about the use of water when remembering the behavior of it. While in the bathtub, he noticed the water level as he sank his body. In this way, by inserting a crown into the water, you would avoid melting it. He thought about calculating the displaced water with the volume of the crown and thus calculate the density. This calculation, if it was less than that of gold, would demonstrate the use of other metals. Such a story is questioned because of the exacting details of the method. Another possible method for the calculation is electrostatics. The behavior of the water causes that every submerged object, by its own weight, emerges. Using a scale, a piece of gold similar in weight; and on the other side the crown. By submerging both objects he would see the displacement of water.

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