The real story behind Archimedes’ Eureka!


Archimedes’ principle

Many of the engineering students must have heard about the Archimedes’ principle which explained the law of buoyancy.  It can be simply explained that the weight of the object placed inside the water is equal to the amount of water displaced out. This was firstly discovered by Archimedes while he was taking his bath. Archimedes was so surprised that he ran in the streets naked shouting ‘Eureka’ which means ‘I have it’.

Eureka – the real story

Usually, the story tells about a goldsmith who tricked the king by making a fake crown and Archimedes was the one who found about it. But another story revolves around this Eureka concept i.e, Once the king of Syracuse, Hieron had asked Archimedes to make a grand ship which is to be gifted to the king of Egypt. So Archimedes made a grand ship named as Syracuse which can be called as Titanic of ancient times. It said that it consists of a gymnasium, a swimming pool or bath which consists of hot water, a library and a great cannon which can shoot rocks which are hundreds of pounds in weight and 8 watchtowers. It contained about 400 tonnes of grain and 74 tonnes of water, pickled fish and more than 600 population and 20 horses in its first voyage.

A vast structure as such required many years to be made and also many workers. Fearing it might sink down, Archimedes was lost thinking of a way so that the Syracuse would float. He stepped into the bath and saw that as he stepped in, the water displaced from the surface. He understood that if the weight of the object is equal to the weight of water displaces then the object can float. This is further explained the law of buoyancy which is seen in the water.

Based on this theory, Syracuse could successfully complete its first voyage without sinking. So, this is the true story behind the Archimedes’ Eureka.

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