Biography of Archimedes

Archimedes may be from an ancient civilization but his ideas were far from ancient. In fact, he might be credited as one of the first individuals that were able to think outside the box.

Archimedes was born in the third century BC in Syracuse and we know very little about his life. What we do know is that his father’s name was Phidias and he was an astronomer, which might give us some insight into Archimedes’ character. His intelligence was probably sparked at an early age by looking into the heavens and considering all of the possibilities of the universe. What we do not know is if Archimedes ever had a wife or children. He was killed during the Second Punic War but not after, he made countless contributions to the world of mathematics and psychics. In fact, it is safe to assume that without his inventions and discoveries, the world – especially his immediate world – would have looked considerably different. His inventions shaped thought and shaped the war and his influence cannot be overlooked or diminished.

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Archimedes discovered the value of pi by drawing a large polygon outside a circle and placing smaller polygons inside the circle. As polygons increase, so do the sides of the polygons and as this number of sides increases, the number becomes an accurate estimate of a circle. When the number of sides of the polygons reached 96, Archimedes calculated their lengths and illustrated that the value of pi is approximately 3.1416. Archimedes also demonstrated how the area of circles is equal to pi if it is multiplied by the square of the circle’s radius. Archimedes is significant to not only to the world of mathematics, but also to the world in general as almost everything contains an element of math, whether we realize it or not.

Through his thinking and discoveries, Archimedes makes understanding of the physical world and the phenomenon within it easier.

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