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# A Biography of Archimedes, a Greek Mathematician

Greek mathematician who flourished in Sicily He is generally considered to be the greatest mathematician of ancient times Most of the facts about his life come from a biography about the Roman soldier Marcellus written by the Roman biographer Plutarch Archimedes performed numerous geometric proofs using the rigid geometric formalism outlined by Euclid excelling especially at computing areas and volumes using the method of exhaustion He was especially proud of his discovery for finding the volume of a sphere showing that it is two thirds the volume of the smallest cylinder that can contain it At his request the figure of a sphere and cylinder was engraved on his tombstone In fact it is often said that Archimedes would have invented calculus if the Greeks had only possessed a more tractable mathematical notation By inscribing and circumscribing polygons on a circle for instance he was able to constrain the value of pi between 3 1071 and 317 Archimedes was also an outstanding engineer formulating Archimedes principle of buoyancy and the law of the lever Legend has it that Archimedes discovered his principle of buoyancy which states that the buoyancy force is equal to the weight of the liquid displaced while taking a bath upon which he is supposed to have run naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting Eureka I have found it Archimedes is also purported to have invented the Archimedean screw Some of Archimedess geometric proofs were actually motivated by mechanical arguments which led him to the correct answer During the Roman siege of Syracuse he is said to have single-handedly defended the city by constructing lenses to focus the Suns light on Roman ships and huge cranes to turn them upside down When the Romans finally broke the siege Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier after snapping at him Dont disturb my circles a reference to a geometric figure he had outlined on the sand

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