Absolutely miles away from romance (my usual subject matter) I found this interesting snippet among my stored notes and bits of nonsense. Thought it might interest someone. I recall it was an essay I was asked to write years ago about a famous person who discovered something unusual.
Archimedes (287-212 BC) went further than the philosophers and mathematicians who had taught before him. He carried out experiments for himself. He had an inquiring mind that sought for the answer to things that others took for granted. The King of Syracuse asked for his opinion on the crown’s etc. being made by his goldsmiths. He suspected they were mixing a baser metal with the gold.
Archimedes experimented and found that when equal weights of different metals where placed in water they no longer weighted equally. The bulkier metal does not suffer the same diminution in weight. His actual theory was that when a body was immersed in water the apparent loss of weight is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced. The king’s crown caused more water to flow out of the container than a lump of gold of exactly the same weight, proving that it contained some bulkier metal- probably silver. He coined the phrase, ‘Eureka! Eureka!’ meaning, I have found it, when he ran to the king after his discovery.
He propounded theories about the lever and other hydro-statics that were not purely accurate but nevertheless later scientists found where they were at fault and in doing so made further advances.
He discovered a means of raising water by using a screw, which was named after him. He is supposed to have invented it for draining water from a ship’s hold. The screw consisted of a coil of tubing open at both ends, wound corkscrew-wise round a shaft. When the shaft was revolved the water was scooped up and raised through the coils. The principle of the Archimedean screw is still employed in various kinds of conveyors today but is little used now for raising water.
|One of its modern day uses in a sewerage plant|
No doubt Archimedes would be overjoyed and proud that his invention is still being used today. Imagine inventing something that was still being used thousands of years later!
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