Cover image for Archimedes : what did he do besides cry eureka?
Archimedes : what did he do besides cry eureka?
Stein, Sherman K.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Mathematical Association of America, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 155 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA31 .S84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
QA31 .S84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Many people have heard two things about Archimedes: he was the greatest mathematician of antiquity, and he ran naked from his bath crying ``Eureka!''. However, few people are familiar with the actual accomplishments upon which his enduring reputation rests, and it is the aim of this book to shed light upon this matter. Archimedes' ability to achieve so much with the few mathematical tools at his disposal was astonishing. He made fundamental advances in the fields of geometry, mechanics, and hydrostatics. No great mathematical expertise is required of the reader, and the book is well illustrated with over 100 diagrams. It will prove fascinating to students and professional mathematicians alike.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The name Archimedes is well known, yet few people (even mathematicians) can accurately relate why his mathematical works are important. Often, what is known is incorrect or approaches mythical proportions. To correct these misconceptions, Stein discusses Archimedes' significant discoveries in an informal manner accessible to anyone who has had high school algebra, giving special attention to exposing those "mathematical gems" that everyone should know. Among them are the idea of the lever, a theory of the center of gravity relative to floating bodies, the "infinite" summing of geometric series (e.g., determining an approximation of pi), and Archimedes' mechanical method related to the calculation of volumes. Great diagrams enrich the text and its mathematical arguments; the cover includes a photograph of one page of Archimedes' Palimpsest (reason enough to own the book). An appendix develops the mathematics underlying an affine mapping, which then provides the "power" needed for a concise exploration of Archimedes' properties of a parabola. Acceptable reference list. Highly recommended to anyone interested in mathematics and its history, as it is eye-opening and a great read. General readers; undergraduates through faculty. J. Johnson; Western Washington University

Table of Contents

1 The life of Archimedes
2 The lever
3 The centre of gravity
4 Big literary find in Constantinople
5 The mechanical method
6 Two sums
7 The parabola
8 Floating bodies
9 The spiral
10 The ball
11 Archimedes traps p