Archimedes, the Man

(287 - 212 B.C.)

Archimedes was a Greek philosopher, mathematician and inventor, who wrote about geometry and mechanics. He was born in Syracuse, Sicily, and educated in Alexandria, Egypt. Archimedes defined the principle of the lever and invented the compound pulley. One of his most widely used inventions is the hydraulic screw used for raising water from a lower to a higher level. He is also said to have invented the catapult and even a mirror system that focused the sun's rays onto the boats of invaders causing the craft to ignite.

The Archimedes' principle is his best known discovery. This states that a body immersed in fluid loses weight equal to the weight of the amount of fluid it displaces. He is reputed to have made this discovery as he immersed himself in a full tub of water and watched the water overflow. Legend says that he ran down the street naked shouting "Eureka, I have got it! I have got it!"

The Archimedes Project—We chose the name of Archimedes for our project at Stanford University in 1992 partly because we were inspired by him, and partly because we believed his statement about using a lever to move the world is analogous to using technology to meet individual needs.

"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the world."
Archimedes, 230 BC

"Technology can give each individual the leverage to move his or her world."
The Archimedes Project, 1992 AD


Links to information about Archimedes.

There is a very comprehensive site at the University of Syracuse maintained by Chris Rorres.

Another great site is maintained by the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews, Scotland

There is also an interesting site at Drexel University

Look here for a collection of pictures.

This site has engravings showing some of his inventions

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Detail of a painting by
Jusepe de Ribera
(Spanish 1591-1652)
in the Museo del Prado
(Madrid, Spain)

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