Facts About Archimedes



  • Archimedes (c.287-212Bc) was one of the first great scientists. He created the sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics.
  • Archimedes was a Greek who lived in the city of Syracuse, Sicily. His relative, Hieron II, was king of Syracuse.
  • Archimedes’ screw is a simple pump supposedly invented by Archimedes. It scoops up water with a spiral device that turns inside a tube. It is still used in the Middle East.
  • To help defend Syracuse against Roman attackers in 215Bc, Archimedes invented many war machines. They included an awesome ‘claw’ — a giant grappling crane that could lift whole galleys from the water and sink them.
  • Archimedes was killed by Roman soldiers when collaborators let the Romans into Syracuse in 212Bc.
  • Archimedes analysed levers mathematically. He showed that the load you can move with a particular effort is in exact proportion to its distance from the fulcrum.
  • Archimedes discovered that objects float because they are thrust upwards by the water.
  • Archimedes’ principle shows that the upthrust on a floating object is equal to the weight of the water that the object pushes out of the way.
  • Archimedes realized he could work out the density, or specific gravity, of an object by comparing the object’s weight to the weight of water it pushes out of a jar when completely submerged.
  • Archimedes used specific gravity to prove a sly goldsmith had not made King Hieron’s crown of pure gold.