Archimedes

Archimedes was born in Syracuse, Sicily in 287 BC, fathered by an astronomer named Phidias. Archimedes helped develop many of the formulas used in modern day mathematics like geometry. Very little is known about this famous man other than reports, because it was so long ago that he lived, but he is still to this day known as a great mathematician.

It is reported by some authors that he visited Egypt and there invented a device now known as Archimedes' screw. This is a pump, still used in many parts of the world. It is highly likely that, when he was a young man, Archimedes studied with the successors of Euclid in Alexandria. Certainly he was familiar with the mathematics developed there, and he personally knew other great mathematicians working there during his life. He regarded Conon of Samos, one of the mathematicians at Alexandria, both very highly for his abilities as a mathematician and he also considered him a very close friend.

There are quite a number of references in writings that prove that Archimedes was one of few brilliant mathematicians of his time, and gained his reputation during his own life, an achievement very few other mathematicians of his time received. Archimedes, originally achieved fame by his mechanical inventions, although he believed that pure mathematics was the only worthy pursuit. Archimedes attitude was incredible, always willing to learn more and achieve greater knowledge. Archimedes did in fact use some very practical methods to discover results from pure geometry. He perfected a method of integration which allowed him to find areas, volumes and surface areas of many bodies; and he also gave an accurate approximation to p and showed that he could approximate square roots correctly. His most famous theorem gives the weight of a body...