Archimedes was an ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, astronomer
and engineer. Although little is known of his life, he is regarded as
one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his
advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics and the
explanation of the principle of the lever. His early use of calculus
included the first known summation of an infinite series with a method
that is still used today. He is also credited with designing
innovative machines, including weapons and the screw pump that bears
his name. He is best known for allegedly exclaiming "Eureka!" after
discovering what is known today as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes
died during the Siege of Syracuse, when he was killed by a Roman
soldier despite orders that he should not be harmed. The relatively
few copies of his treatises that survived through the Middle Ages were
an influential source of ideas for scientists during the Renaissance.
The historians of Ancient Rome showed a strong interest in Archimedes
and wrote accounts of his life and works, while the discovery of
previously unknown works by Archimedes in the Archimedes Palimpsest
has provided new insights into how he obtained mathematical results.
Carl Friedrich Gauss is said to have remarked that Archimedes was one
of the three epoch-making mathematicians, with the others being Sir
Isaac Newton and Ferdinand Eisenstein.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Sergius III came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the
deposed antipope Christopher.
U.S. Senator Henry Clay introduced the Compromise of 1850, a series
of laws designed to balance the interests between the slaveholding
Southern United States and the free states of the north.
The Victoria Cross was created, originally to recognise acts of
valour by British and Commonwealth military personnel during the
German engine designer and engineer Karl Benz filed a patent for the
Motorwagen (replica pictured), the first purpose-built,
In his State of the Union Address, U.S. President George W. Bush
described governments that he accused of sponsoring terrorism and
seeking weapons of mass destruction as an "axis of evil", specifically
naming Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
jeremiad: A long speech or prose work that bitterly laments the state
of society and its morals, and often contains a prophecy of its coming
Wikiquote of the day:
The fear of freedom is strong in us. We call it chaos or anarchy, and
the words are threatening. We live in a true chaos of contradicting
authorities, an age of conformism without community, of proximity
without communication. We could only fear chaos if we imagined that it
was unknown to us, but in fact we know it very well. -- Germaine Greer