Inventors are inspirational. Archimedes was an inventor, as well as, a mathematician, a scientist, and an engineer. He lived so long ago that there is not a lot known about his life. His birth year is even an approximation. He is known to have lived for around 75 years, so he is believed to have been born in c. 287 BC and died c. 212 BC. He was born in Syracuse, Sicily which is along the coast of Southern Italy.
Archimedes is considered to have been one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He used what has become calculus and geometrical theorems. He derived an approximation of pi and created a system of exponentiation to express extremely large numbers. He designed machines like a screw pump, compound pulleys, and defensive war machines. While alive he was known for his inventions, however little was known of his mathematical writings. While alive he was quoted by mathematicians from Alexandria, however the bulk of his work was not made public until 530 AD. He wrote approximately a dozen volumes, however more writings were discovered in 1905. This has become what is known as Archimedes Palimpsest. This 174-page document was a written over erased original of his writing.
Galileo, the famous astronomer and scientist, admired and praised Archimedes. A crater and mountain range on the moon have been named in Archimedes’ honor. Asteroid 3600 Archimedes was named for him as well. His portrait has appeared on European stamps and is on the Fields Medal, which is given for achievement in mathematics. There is also a carving illustrating a mathematical proof in regards to the volume of a sphere and a cylinder on the Field Medal.
Archimedes is also remembered for the Archimedes spiral and shouting, “Eureka!” when making a discovery concerning gold. Eureka! became the motto of California in reference to the discovery of gold in 1848 and the California Gold Rush. Today, he is still part of popular culture. MythBusters has even tested his heat ray invention on multiple television programs. Be inspired! Have a bright day!