Tuesday, 22 April 2014

That "Eureka" Moment

That "Eureka" Moment

King Hieron of Syracuse one day gave a jeweller a block of pure gold to make a crown. The crown weighed the same as the gold block, but Hieron suspected that he had filched some of the gold and replaced it with brass. Archimedes had spent several weeks wrestling with the problem when, one morning, he was getting into his bath. Seeing the water rise he realised how he could solve the problem and leapt out of the bath, running naked down the street shouting “Eureka” (I have got it) in his haste to tell King Hieron. The key was that the amount of water displaced by putting the crown into a vat of water would be equal to the volume of the crown. If the crown contained only heavy gold the volume would be the same as the gold block, but if it contained less dense brass it would have a greater volume for the same weight.

from "Heroes Rogues and Villains" by Rupert Matthews
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