The Father of Mathematics | 6 things you need to know about him
Last Updated on January 12, 2022 by iSchoolConnect
Do you know who was the finest mathematician in history? It was Archimedes. You may also know him as the father of mathematics. He designed or developed some of the mechanical systems we use today. In this blog we will learn all about this brilliant man! So read on!
Archimedes is a Greek mathematician who flourished from 287 to 212 B.C. He found mathematical problems very intriguing. So much so he scribbled math equations and plotted graphs on the ground, and even on his stomach. Let’s read more about the man who today is known as the father of mathematics.
1. The life of the father of mathematics- Archimedes
He was born in Syracuse, which at the time was a Greek colony. Phidias, Archimedes’ father, was an astronomer, and he most likely instilled in his son a love for arithmetic and science.
His family also encouraged him to pursue formal education. This was the reason for his enrollment in Egypt’s School of Mathematics. Archimedes spent most of his life in the service of King Hiero II of Syracuse. He helped the king with mathematical problems and devised new strategies for troops.
Mathematical breakthroughs & inventions
2. Archimedes’ principle
The most well-known tale about Archimedes is of him inventing a method for measuring the volume of an oddly shaped item-
According to Vitruvius, Archimedes was tasked with verifying whether the goldsmith had used silver instead of gold. When a votive crown for a temple was made for King Hiero II of Syracuse, who had given the pure gold to be used. He couldn’t melt it down into a regular-shaped body to calculate its density. Because he didn’t want to destroy the crown.
So one day while bathing Archimedes saw that the water level in the tub rose. This is when he recognized that this effect can determine the volume of the crown while bathing.
For practical purposes, water is incompressible. Thus, the buried crown would displace an amount of water equal to its volume. By dividing the crown’s mass by the volume of water displaced, we find the crown’s density. If they introduced less dense metals, the density would be lower than gold.
The tale of the golden crown does not occur in any of Archimedes’ recorded works. The method’s viability is in question for the precision that would be necessary for measuring water displacement. Archimedes may have sought a solution based on the notion known as Archimedes’ principle in hydrostatics. However, he discusses this in his work On Floating Bodies.
3. Mathematical innovations
His proclivity for solving mathematical difficulties led him to create some of the foundational mathematical principles. The “technique of fatigue,” as he called it, was one of his fundamental innovations. He could determine the areas of shapes, including circles, using this method. He could also quantify the value of pi.
Additionally, Archimedes expanded on the “technique of exhaustion”. It is to measure parabolas and calculate the relationship between spheres and cylinders. Archimedes was one of the first mathematicians to grasp the concept of infinity. Besides, he was also a ‘prime number’ specialist.
4. Invention & name
Because of the Archimedes screw, many people are familiar with Archimedes’ name. Thanks to this technique, water can now flow upwards! Archimedes’ screw is made of a hollow cylinder and a hollow spiral, which can be inside or outside the cylinder. When the screw’s spun, the water goes from a lower to a higher plane.
Archimedes’ screw was first employed to empty the water of a ship. But it now has a variety of modern applications. Farmers in dry places use it to irrigate their crops and the wastewater treatment plants use it to transport water from one location to another.
5. Death of the father of mathematics- Archimedes
According to myth, the soldier killed Archimedes because he mistook his instruments for weapons or gold. But other stories claim the soldier became frustrated waiting for Archimedes to solve the issue he was working on.
6. Legacies in mathematics and science
Sir Isaac Newton and Carl Friedrich Gauss regarded Archimedes as one of history’s most important and influential mathematicians. There are several memorials to Archimedes in the fields of math and science.
- Astronomers named a crater and a mountain range on the moon, as well as an asteroid, after him.
- The International Mathematical Union awards the Fields Medal, which features Archimedes.
- People regard Archimedes as the greatest mathematician of antiquity.
- Renowned British Eric Temple Bell wrote a list of the three greatest mathematicians in all history that would also include the name of Archimedes. The other two usually associated with him are Newton and Gauss. “Some, considering the relative wealth—or poverty—of mathematics and physical science in the respective ages in which these giants lived, and estimating their achievements against the background of their times, would put Archimedes first”.
- Reviel Netz, a Stanford University Suppes Professor of Greek Mathematics and Astronomy and an authority on Archimedes, noted “ And so, since Archimedes led more than anyone else to the formation of the calculus and since he was the pioneer of the application of mathematics to the physical world, it turns out that Western science is but a series of footnotes to Archimedes. Thus, it turns out that Archimedes is the most important scientist who ever lived”.
- Galileo lauded Archimedes, referring to him as a “superhuman” and “my master.”
- Huygens, on the other hand, said, “Archimedes is comparable to no one” and based his work on him. “He who understands Archimedes and Apollonius will less admire the achievements of subsequent eras,” Leibniz observed.
- Archimedes and Newton were Gauss’ heroes, and Moritz Cantor, who studied under him at the University of Göttingen, said he once said in the discussion that “there had only been three epoch-making mathematicians: Archimedes, Newton, and Eisenstein.”
- Archimedes committed his life to the discovery of several mathematical & scientific concepts, methods, and procedures.
- People still use his innovations and ideas today, even though he is no longer among us.
- His principles and ideas will continue to inspire future generations of scientists. Rightly called the “Father of Mathematics” for his achievements and renown.
- Without Archimedes’ invaluable contribution, science would not have evolved as far as it has in the present world.
- His enthusiasm for science and mathematics changed and inspired future generations.
- His contributions to science and mathematics through many discoveries and breakthroughs are vital.
- Today’s scientists follow in the footsteps of Archimedes for his contributions to society and bringing honor to the country.
We hope you enjoyed this blog about the father of mathematics and found it informative. Don’t forget to comment below and share your thoughts! You can also get in touch with us if you have any doubts.
Liked this blog? Read: Father of Genetics | Learn about some great contributions!
1. What is the modern application of Archimedes’ math?
Answer- People use the Archimedes screw in plastic reforming machines, die casting machines, and injection molding equipment, among other things. The fast-rotating screws that assist in water pumping can also generate power.
2. What was Archimedes’ newfound discovery impact?
Answer- He devised a method for expressing vast amounts of data. Archimedes discovered key theorems about the center of gravity of planar figures and solids in mechanics. Archimedes’ principle, his most famous theorem, determines the weight of a body immersed in a liquid.
3. Did Archimedes experiment with light?
Answer- According to myths, Archimedes’ mirrors elevated the warmth of the ships to the point that they caught fire by focusing on the sun’s beams. While a concave mirror in one hand may focus sunlight to light a paper in the other, burning a faraway wooden ship would necessitate an impractically enormous mirror.