Ancient Greek scientist Archimedes was the inventor, mathematician, designer, engineer, physicist, astronomer and mechanic. He founded such a direction as mathematical physics. The researcher also developed methods for finding volumes, surfaces and areas of different bodies and figures, anticipating the integral calculus. He is the author of many inventions. The name of the scientist is associated with the emergence of leverage laws, the introduction of the term "center of gravity" and research in the field of hydrostatics. When the Romans attacked Syracuse, the organization of the city's engineering defense was dealt with by Archimedes.
In times of high technology and scientific discoveries, we are accustomed to perceive achievements as something ordinary, forgetting that the foundations of existing knowledge were laid by ancient scientists. They were the pioneers. And Archimedes of Syracuse was so genius in general. After all, he confirmed most of his ideas in practice. Our contemporaries successfully use them in their work, although they do not even know who was their author. Biography Archimedes came to our days only from legends and memories. We suggest you read it.
Childhood and study
Archimedes, whose brief biography will be presented below, was born in the city of Syracuse around 287 BC. E. His childhood was at a time when King Pyrrus waged wars with the Carthaginians and Romans, trying to create a Greek state of a new pattern. Particularly distinguished in this war, Hieron - a relative of Archimedes, who later became the ruler of Syracuse. Phidias (the father of the boy) was the approximate of Hiero. This allowed him to give Archimedes a good education. But the young man lacked theoretical knowledge, and he went to Alexandria, which was at that time a scientific center. Here the Ptolemies, the rulers of Egypt, collected the best Greek scholars and thinkers of the time. Also in Alexandria was the world's largest library, where Archimedes for a long time studied mathematics and works of Eudoxus, Democritus, etc. In those years, the future researcher became friends with astronomer Konon, geographer and mathematician Eratosthenes. Then he had frequent correspondence with them.
The first profession
After studying Archimedes, whose brief biography is known to all scientists, he returned to Syracuse and inherited the post of Phidias - a courtier astronomer. Thanks to Hieron in the city, peacetime has come. To withdraw from the First Punic War, he paid Rome a huge indemnity. In "Universal History" Polybius described him as follows: "Hieron came to power, having neither glory, nor wealth, nor any gifts of fate. He did not offend anyone, did not expel, did not kill, but ruled for 54 years ... "Nevertheless, Hieron, like his successors, paid more attention to strengthening the city, preparing for possible military clashes.
The position of the astronomer was not burdensome, and Archimedes could freely engage in other activities. Theoretically, his research was multifaceted. The first works of Archimedes were devoted to mechanics. He relied on it and in some mathematical work. For example, the researcher applied the principle of leverage to solve several geometric problems. He expressed the mathematical conclusions in his article "On the Equilibrium of Flat Figures." This work of the scientist became the cornerstone of the "Parabola quadrature" (integral calculus), which will be discovered in 2000 years. And in the essay "On measuring the circle", the researcher calculated the ratio of the diameter of the circle to its length, or, in other words, the number Pi (3.14). In addition, everyone still uses the naming system of integers he invented.
Biography Archimedes describes his two most significant scientific achievements: the doctrine of the center of gravity and the formulation of the principle of leverage. He also laid the foundations of hydrostatics. Only in the late 16th and early 17th centuries these ideas were developed by Pascal, Galileo, Stevin and other scientists who used Archimedes' law, described by him in the work "On floating bodies". This work was the first attempt to test in practice the fundamental assumption about the structure of matter by creating its model. Archimedes not only proved several main points about the physical characteristics of liquid atoms, but also confirmed a number of atomistic ideas of Democritus. In this work, the scientific genius of the researcher manifested itself with particular force. The results he obtained could only be proved in the 19th century.
According to the biography of Archimedes, in addition to mechanics, physics and mathematics, he was engaged in meteorological and geometrical optics. Also, the scientist conducted a series of experiments on refraction of light. There are numerous reports that Archimedes wrote a great work - "Catoptrika", but, unfortunately, it did not reach us. On the basis of the citations that survived, it can be assumed that the researcher knew about the incendiary effect of concave lenses, conducted experiments on refraction of light in water and air, and also had an idea of the properties of images in concave, convex and flat mirrors. In addition to citations, only one theorem survived, proving that when a light beam from a mirror is reflected from a mirror, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.
The defense of Syracuse
The discoveries of Archimedes in the field of engineering brought him the greatest fame, which crossed the borders not only of countries but also of centuries. Especially bright his engineering genius manifested itself in 214 BC. E. At the siege of his relatives Syracuse. Archimedes has already changed the seventh decade. This was one of the greatest triumphs in the life of a scientist. Here he showed himself not only as an inventor, but also as an outstanding builder. Everyone knows that the ancient structures consisted of solid walls. Archimedes mounted in them embrasures and embrasures, designed for medium and lower combat. Created in peacetime combat vehicles allowed to defend Syracuse from the attack of the Romans for three years.
As you can see, the scientific life of Archimedes was bright and rich. In recent years, he was engaged in computational and astronomical activity. Titus Livius (Roman writer) called him "the only kind of observer of stars and skies." And although no astronomical work by Archimedes has reached us, one can not doubt the authenticity of this characteristic. The activity about this activity is evidenced by the story of the astronomical sphere created by him, and the "Psammit" work, where the scientist tries to calculate the number of grains of sand in the Universe.
In the composition of the researcher there is a moment that can be attributed to the category of "the discovery of Archimedes." The scientist was the first in the history of science to compare the two systems of the world - heliocentric and geocentric. Archimedes wrote: "Most astronomers believe that the world is a ball, enclosed between the centers of the Earth and the Sun." Thus, he was aware of the size of the world and realized that it was finite. This allowed the researcher to finish his calculations to the end.
This concludes the biography of Archimedes. He appeared before us as an engineer, researcher, theoretician and popularizer of science. The combination of practical thinking with mathematical talent and organizational skills was at that time a rarity. In the history of science Archimedes entered as a vivid example of a researcher who managed to combine theory and practice in harmony. Undoubtedly, he is an exemplary scientist, from which it is necessary to take an example to other generations of researchers. The mathematical physics proposed by Archimedes was not taken seriously by his descendants or by the scholars of the Middle Ages. If we talk about researchers ahead of time, then Archimedes was among them the champion. Only in the 16th and 17th century European mathematicians were able to understand the importance and significance of his scientific contribution. Since then, the ancient Greek scientist has many followers-enthusiasts, burning with the desire to prove their theories with concrete gains. And now, in memory of this genius, the scientists who made the discovery repeat the same cry as Archimedes: "Eureka! I found".