In any list of the greatest mathematicians of all time, the Greek mathematician Archimedes would be there. However, most of us know very little about what he did. When asked, most replies say things about eureka, Archimedean screw or possibly π. In this workshop we shall look in particular at his mathematics and, where appropriate, mention the engineering ideas.

We shall introduce the so-called Law of the lever, since it provides the basis of his mechanical method with which he develops much of his mathematics. We shall introduce ideas associated with centre of gravity of plane figures abd use his method to calculate the CoG of composite shapes. We shall move on to his law of buoyancy and explain the Plimsoll line. Finally we shall explore his understanding of the parabola.

SECONDARY: forces and moments, centre of gravity, buoyancy, ships etc.

SIXTH FORM: plus the geometry of the parabola, infinite series, approximations to π.

Copyright Maths Discovery 2015