Story of a Great Scientist-Archimedes

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Hiero became the king of Syracuse in the year 475 BC. Syracuse was a Greek city of ancient Sicily. The king was a lover of literature, and there were poets and learned men in his court.

The king vowed to offer a gold crown to the immortal god in the temple if he became the king of Syracuse.

Hence, the king called a goldsmith. He gave him a gold piece of known weight to prepare a crown. The artisan designed the ornament and handed it over to the king.

The king received the crown and examined it. His mind became suspicious of the gold- crown. He thought the craftworker cheated him. Cheap silver metal must have replaced some gold.

Hence, they made a charge against the goldsmith that the crown was not purely of gold.

But this was just the imagination. The goldsmith might have tricked, or it was just a suspicion. The problem was how to prove the theft of the technician. It was too difficult to prove- whether the goldsmith tricked.

The king approached Archimedes because Archimedes was a scholar of that time.

Archimedes started working towards the problem. He started thinking about this matter for months.

Archimedes was a moody person.

Once, Archimedes went to take a bath and relax. But he occupied his mind with the problem of the crown.

He entered the bathtub, which was full of water. He found some water spilling out from the tub. And suddenly, an idea struck his mind. He noticed- the water which overflowed must have the same volume as his body.

Archimedes was excited. He stepped out of the tub and ran naked, shouting – ‘Eureka, Eureka, Eureka! He forgot he was naked.

The meaning of Eureka is ‘I have discovered or found out.’


Archimedes went to the king. He asked for a lump of gold of the same weight as given to the artisan. He also collected a silver piece of the same weight.

He immersed the gold in water, and he found out how much volume of water displaced. Similarly, he found out how much volume of water silver displaces.

The water displaced by silver was more because the density of silver is lower.

The water displaced by the gold lump was less because the density of gold is higher.

Finally, he immersed the crown in water and found the volume of water displaced.

But, the volume of water displaced was more than expected. And thus, Archimedes proved- the goldsmith did some mixing of silver, and the crown was not pure gold.

As per some myths, Archimedes knew the densities of silver and gold. He found out the volume of water displaced by the crown & by using the formula d = m/v, calculated the density. By matching the densities of metals, he proved that there was mixing in the crown’s making.

Archimedes was a great scholar and inventor of his time. He gave remarkable ideas and theories to the world.

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