Archimedes

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Cicero – Stoicism – Roman philosophy

By |2018-04-18T17:19:14+00:00September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans|

Bust of Cicero (Capitoline Museum, Rome) In the last years of the Roman Republic, great men like Julius Caesar and Pompey fought over which of them would rule Rome. Cicero was one of the last men to stand up for the old Republic. He tried to keep the republican government going. While you might think [...]

Screw – Simple machines – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:15+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics, What|

A cider press with big wooden screws People always count screws as a separate kind of simple machine. But really screws are just one kind of inclined plane. They are such an important kind that we give them their own category. Like most other simple machines, screws also exist in nature. The hip joints of [...]

Pulley – Simple machines – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:15+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Clothesline pulley A pulley is really a kind of wheel, just as a screw is a kind of inclined plane. But pulleys are so important that people give them their own category. A pulley is a wheel with two raised edges. The raised edges are so that a rope or a string will run along the wheel [...]

Levers – Simple machines – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:33+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Levers: An orangutan child using a stick as a lever What is a lever? A lever is basically just a long stick that you push or pull against a fulcrum - a fixed object - to move something. A lever helps you move something heavy, or make something go fast. The earliest levers developed [...]

Renaissance Science in Europe

By |2017-08-07T21:36:38+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

Copernicus, a Renaissance astronomer Starting in the 1200s AD, as Europe got richer, great universities got started there. In the later Middle Ages, West Asia and India suffered from the Mongol invasions. West Asian people were too poor to send their children to the old university at Baghdad. In the 1300s, the Black Death killed so many people in Egypt that the old university at Cairo also didn't have [...]

What is pi? Simple geometry – Math, circles, circumference, diameter

By |2018-04-23T16:01:03+00:00July 29th, 2017|Math|

What is pi? The geometry of a circle What is pi? Pi is a number that is just a little bigger than 3.14. It is the number you get if you divide the circumference of any circle by its diameter. It's the same for all circles. You can approximate pi for yourself by taking some circular things like the tops [...]

Greek mathematics – Geometry and Proofs – Ancient Greece

By |2018-04-22T10:26:50+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Math|

Greek math: An Egyptian papyrus from about 100 AD which is a piece of one of Euclid's books Greek math: geometry not algebra Because people in ancient Greece had only very clumsy ways of writing down numbers, they didn't like algebra. They found it very hard to write down equations or number problems. Instead, Greek mathematicians were [...]

Who was Eratosthenes? Astronomy and math

By |2018-05-16T18:40:23+00:00July 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Science|

Eratosthenes of Cyrene went to school here! A classroom at the University of Alexandria (al-Ahram 2004). Who was Eratosthenes of Cyrene? Eratosthenes of Cyrene was born about 276 BC in Cyrene (modern Libya). Chief librarian in Alexandria When he was still young he moved to Alexandria, in Egypt. He studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Alexandria. [...]

Who was Aristarchus of Samos?

By |2018-04-23T14:19:32+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A copy of Aristarchus of Samos' work on parchment from Constantinople, about 950 AD. It shows the relative sizes of the sun, the Earth, and the moon Aristarchus of Samos The astronomer Aristarchus, who was born on the Greek island of Samos around 310 BC, spent most of his life working at the University of [...]

Who was Archimedes? Eureka!

By |2018-04-23T13:58:51+00:00July 18th, 2017|History|

Syracuse, Sicily, with Mount Etna in the background Archimedes was born about 287 BC, so he was a little younger than Euclid. Archimedes' father was an astronomer. Because Archimedes was related to the tyrant who ruled Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, he lived his whole life in Sicily, except when he went to study at the University of [...]