ArchimedesArchimedes is one of the famous Greek scientist and inventor. He is also known for his works in mathematics with excellence in geometry. And he made valuable discoveries and important inventions. Archimedes is a Greek scientist who was first to know why ships sail on the sea instead of getting sunk. Based on his works on geometry, he discovered two basic shapes called Sphere and Cylinder.

Biography – Life Span

Archimedes was born in 287 BC at Syracuse, Magna Graecia. The information about his childhood is very scarce. However, it was clear that he grew-up reading geometry, mathematics, and physics. His father was an expert in planetary science.

The sharp thinking of Archimedes helped him become one of the chief figures of the ruler of his time. He is said to have built a large ship on the order of ruler. The large ship was to be used for long travels, carry the supplies, and defend during the war. This happened as the result of Archimedes’ inventions like screw and research on fluids at rest.

Apart from that, he was a brilliant mathematician. He discovered ways to measure the area of a circle. With his vast abilities, he found a way to count the number of grains of sand that could fill this Earth. Galileo Galilei, a planetary scientist, admired him and even used his works when he researched on stars.

Among the Greek scientists, Archimedes remains a highly known personality due to his discoveries and inventions. He died during the Second Punic War in 212 BC. It is told that the soldier who killed him was forbidden to do so.

Contributions and Discoveries

When it comes to inventions, Archimedes stands second to none. He enriched physics and mathematics by his important contributions and discoveries. In mathematics, he excelled geometry and discovered two shapes (sphere and cylinder) and their measurements. Some of his most impressive works that added value to the science and identified the new ways to explore it are:

  1. Archimedes’ Principle: He found the laws behind sailing of ships on the water, which is called Buoyancy. It means that fluid (water or any other liquid) would apply force upward to the object that is in it.
  2. Archimedes’ screw: He invented a screw that could be used to draw out water from the lowest and inner part of a ship. This invention has since then been in use for various purposes and in irrigation.
  3. Heat Ray: Archimedes used sun rays to burn the ships in the sea with the help of large mirrors. The mirrors focused the sun-beams at one point and used them as a source to ignite the fire. The heat ray invention has been called a myth by modern scientists.
  4. Odometer: This device is used in vehicles in its digital form to measure the speed and distance traveled. Archimedes invented it based on mechanical tools. He invented it during the First Punic War. It was a cart with a gear function that dropped a ball into a container after each mile traveled.
  5. Pi Value: His major achievement in mathematics finding the value of Pi. The Pi is a constant number which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Archimedes found the value of Pi which is 3.14.
  6. The Sand Reckoner: He wrote a lengthy topic on numbers in which he described that grains of sand on this earth are countable, which he figured out would be 8×1063.

Interesting Facts

  • He introduced shapes like Sphere and Cylinder to the world and even wrote a book on them.
  • He mentioned in his will that both shapes (i.e. sphere and cylinder) be kept on his tomb after his death.
  • The Field Medal is an award that is given to best mathematicians. This medal also contains Archimedes’ portrait on it.

Cite this Page

Abdul Wahab, "Archimedes," in Science4Fun, April 4, 2020,