ARCHIMEDES – THE MAN BEHIND “EUREKA”, THE SUPERMAN OF GALILEO
We all shouted Eureka at some moment of happiness in our life anytime. The man who invented this word was Archimedes. The word means a cry of joy when one finds something. He uttered in joy when he found that various metals of same weight will have different volumes. Let us discuss the story behind that word. King Hiero II wanted a gold crown for himself and ordered one of the goldsmiths to make it. But when he received the crown he suspected its composition seeing its color. He wanted to check if it is made of pure gold so he called Archimedes to investigate. Archimedes started thinking how to find out the truth and one day while he was bathing in a bath tub, he noticed that the amount of water overflowing the tub was proportional to the portion of his body that was immersed in the tub. Suddenly it struck to his mind that the same would apply to the crown and he came out of the tub shouting “Eureka Eureka” and ran on the roads out of excitement.
Later he took two bowls of water and kept crown in one bowl and an equal weight of cube of pure gold in the other. He then calculated the volume of water overflow from both the bowls and he found that crown had sent more water out than the cube of pure gold. So he proved that crown was not made of pure gold but some other metals too.
Archimedes was born around 287 B.C. in Syracuse. It was located on the island of Sicily, Greece. His father name was Phidias who was an astronomer. Archimedes started his studies in the school that was established by the Green mathematician Euclid in Alexandria, Egypt. He went back to Syracuse after he completed his studies. He was a great scientist and mathematician who did various discoveries and inventions. Some of his most vital works were Archimedes principle, Archimedes screw, hydrostatics, levers, and infinitesimals. Archimedes Principle was his major discovery which determines the volume of any irregular shaped object. Archimedes screw was a device used to propel liquids as well as solids like coal, grain etc. It contains a revolving screw-shaped blade inside a cylinder.
Historians believe that he died around 212 B.C. or 211 B.C. There were two stories behind his death. A soldier approached Archimedes when he was working on a mathematical diagram, saying that the general wanted to meet him. When Archimedes refused saying that he had to finish work first, the soldier got enraged and killed Archimedes using his sword. Another story says that Archimedes could have been killed while he was surrendering to the soldier. That time Archimedes was having mathematical instruments which the soldier thought to be precious gems. A sculpture on the tomb of Archimedes was made that embellishes his favorite mathematical proofs, a cylinder and a sphere which are of same height and diameter. He was called as “ Superman” by Galileo. Archimedes name was given to Asteroid 3600. It is said that his last said words were “Do not disturb my circles”.