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Archimedes Eureka Story

Archimedes Eureka Story

Archimedes Eureka Story

Students of physics know about the principle of buoyancy but do you actually know the Archimedes eureka story behind the discovery of this principle?

Eureka in Greek means “I have found it”. We will now discuss an interesting short story of Archimedes and his sudden discovery that changed the way we look at measurements forever.

Archimedes was a Greek scientist. He was known for his knowledge. He was living in Syracuse in Greece. He was quite popular with the king of the country. Once day the king gave a block of stone to his favourite goldsmith and told him to make a crown with it.

The goldsmith used the gold that was given to him and made a beautiful crown. When the crown was ready the weight of the gold that was given and the weight of the crown came to be the same. However, the king got a doubt and he wondered how will he ever know if the goldsmith cheated him and stole some gold? This was exactly why he summoned Archimedes and told him to find the truth.

Archimedes started to think about the issue day in and day out. However, he was not able to find the solution to the problem. One day while taking bath he accidently slipped into a tub that was full to the brim. As soon as he slipped in a little bit of water overflowed from the brim of the tub. Archimedes noticed this and within seconds he got too excited as he had finally found the solution. He was so happy at his discovery that he jumped out of the tub and went on to the streets naked shouting Eureka! He even forgot to put his clothes on.

He later explained that all metals have a weight per unit volume of their own, or density as it is more commonly known. So if a metal of any shape and known weight is immersed in water, it would displace an amount of water whose volume is same as the volume of the object, even if it is any irregular shape.

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Now if another object of different shape but same material and same weight is again immersed in water and the volume of the water displaced is compared, it would give an idea if the metal has got any impurity in it.

This is because if both materials are of same purity, the volume of water displaced in both cases is same irrespective of the shape but if one metal is impure or has any other mixture, it would displace a different volume of water, even if it has the same weight

This principle was later known to the world as the Archimedes principle. This is also considered to be one of the most turning events in Physics.

To prove himself correct Archimedes went to the king. He took the crown and a gold cube of equal weight. He took two big bowls and at the centre of these two bowls he placed a small bowl filled with water till the brim. Archimedes then placed the crown in one bowl and the gold cube in the other. Both the items dispersed some water that was collected by the big bowl. When the water was measured it was found that the water that came out of the bowl that had the crown was much more than the bowl that had the gold cube. In spite of being of the same weight both the gold items had different volume. This was only possible when some other metals were mixed to them. This was a clear proof that the goldsmith had stolen some gold.

The king got furious he immediately called the goldsmith. He asked them stern questions and as a result they finally confessed that they had used some other metals with the gold. This was why the volumes were different. The gold smiths were punished accordingly. Archimedes was appreciated by the king for the discovery that he had made and he was awarded too.

Archimedes later documented his findings and it became one of the most accepted and useful principles in Physics that is still used by scientists all over the world. This is the interesting story of Archimedes and his Eureka story. I hope you found it of interest as very few know what exactly inspired Archimedes to come up with this vital theory. This is perhaps an inspiration to us all that with a little deep thinking we can find answers to the most impossible questions in the world. This is because when Archimedes was given the problem it was clear that only magic could find the answer to this. Nevertheless, Archimedes did not give up he kept thinking what could be the solution and he finally found it in the most unexpected way. Perhaps we all should think clear and find the solutions to all the questions. Never give up!

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