**Archimedes
of Syracuse** is
generally
regarded
as the greatest
mathematician
and scientist
of antiquity,
and widely
considered,
along with
Newton and Gauss,
as one
of the
greatest
mathematicians
of all time.
Archimedes'
inventions
were diverse
-- compound
pulley
systems,
war machines
used in
the defense
of Syracuse,
and even
an early
planetarium.
His
major writings
on mathematics
included
contributions
on plane
equilibriums,
the sphere,
the cylinder,
spirals,
conoids
and spheroids,
the
parabola,
"Archimedes
Principle"
of buoyancy,
and remarkable
work on
the measurement
of a circle.
**Archimedes
is pictured** with
the methods
he used
to find
an approximation
to the
area of
a circle
and the
value of
pi.
Archimedes was the first to give a scientific method
for calculating pi. to arbitrary
accuracy. The method used by
Archimedes
-- the
measurement
of inscribed
and circumscribed
polygons
approaching
a 'limit"
(described
as 'exhaustion')
-- was
one of
the earliest
approaches
to "integration". It preceded
by more
than a
millennia
Newton,
Leibniz,
and modern
calculus.
Archimedes
was killed
in the
aftermath
of the
Battle
of Syracuse
-- a siege
won by
the Romans
using war
machines
many of
which had
been invented
by Archimedes
himself.
Archimedes
was killed
by a Roman
soldier
who likely
had no
idea who
Archimedes
was. At
the time
of his
death Archimedes
was reputedly
sketching
a geometry
problem
in the
sand, his
last words
to the
Roman soldier
being "don't
disturb
my circles". |