The real story behind Archimedes’ Eureka! – Armand D’Angour


When you think of
Archimedes’ “Eureka!” moment, you probably think of this. As it turns out, it may
have been more like this. In the third century BC, Hieron,
king of the Sicilian city of Syracuse, chose Archimedes to supervise an engineering project
of unprecedented scale. Hieron commissioned a sailing vessel 50 times bigger than a standard
ancient warship, named the Syracusia after his city. Hieron wanted to construct
the largest ship ever, which was destined
to be given as a present for Egypt’s ruler, Ptolemy. But could a boat the size
of a palace possibly float? In Archimedes’s day,
no one had attempted anything like this. It was like asking, “Can a mountain fly?” King Hieron had a lot
riding on that question. Hundreds of workmen were to labor
for years on constructing the Syracusia out of beams of pine
and fir from Mount Etna, ropes from hemp grown in Spain, and pitch from France. The top deck, on which
eight watchtowers were to stand, was to be supported not by columns, but by vast wooden images of Atlas
holding the world on his shoulders. On the ship’s bow, a massive catapult would be able
to fire 180 pound stone missiles. For the enjoyment of its passengers, the ship was to feature
a flower-lined promenade, a sheltered swimming pool, and bathhouse with heated water, a library filled with books and statues, a temple to the goddess Aphrodite, and a gymnasium. And just to make things
more difficult for Archimedes, Hieron intended to pack
the vessel full of cargo: 400 tons of grain, 10,000 jars of pickled fish, 74 tons of drinking water, and 600 tons of wool. It would have carried well over
a thousand people on board, including 600 soldiers. And it housed 20 horses
in separate stalls. To build something of this scale, only for that to sink
on its maiden voyage? Well, let’s just say that failure wouldn’t have been a pleasant
option for Archimedes. So he took on the problem: will it sink? Perhaps he was sitting
in the bathhouse one day, wondering how a heavy bathtub can float, when inspiration came to him. An object partially immersed in a fluid
is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid
displaced by the object. In other words, if a 2,000 ton Syracusia
displaced exactly 2,000 tons of water, it would just barely float. If it displaced 4,000 tons of water,
it would float with no problem. Of course, if it only displaced
1,000 tons of water, well, Hieron wouldn’t be too happy. This is the law of buoyancy, and engineers still
call it Archimedes’ Principle. It explains why a steel supertanker
can float as easily as a wooden rowboat or a bathtub. If the weight of water displaced
by the vessel below the keel is equivalent to the vessel’s weight, whatever is above the keel
will remain afloat above the waterline. This sounds a lot like another story
involving Archimedes and a bathtub, and it’s possible that’s because
they’re actually the same story, twisted by the vagaries of history. The classical story of Archimedes’ Eureka!
and subsequent streak through the streets centers around a crown,
or corona in Latin. At the core of the Syracusia story
is a keel, or korone in Greek. Could one have been
mixed up for the other? We may never know. On the day the Syracusia arrived in Egypt
on its first and only voyage, we can only imagine how residents
of Alexandria thronged the harbor to marvel at the arrival
of this majestic, floating castle. This extraordinary vessel was the Titanic
of the ancient world, except without the sinking,
thanks to our pal, Archimedes.

100 thoughts on “The real story behind Archimedes’ Eureka! – Armand D’Angour

  1. Well Tamizhans had a large ships like this always so it is not a amazement for me

  2. Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Nicolaus Copernicus, Aristotle and Galileo Galilei. Without these 8 people 2/3 of today's technology wouldn't exist.

  3. Wait, Im not watching the video. So we learned this in science. Because the gold crown of the king. And it was callef aptitude for serendipity "Finding accidently" Like who would thought just going in the tub has a very help. If I were him. I will found the flowing water in the tub cool and ignore it later. lel Just very smart.

  4. Hum. I thought you’d tell us about why he said ‘eureka’ of all things.

  5. I'be read this before i watch it (basically this was in my english book and its very thick and im in grade 6)

  6. Who else watched this to feels smarter without having any interest on this topic

  7. I am from Alexandria, Egypt and I don't remember any of the arrival of the ship…

  8. Got myself confuse at this part. 2:55

    Could someone explain this to me, it would highly appreciated. 🙂

  9. The good old days, when running around streaking just meant a discovery…. now you get charged with a felony. Political correctness is responsible for humans unevolving.

  10. I got so many followers just by using: get-followers.club Always works for me

  11. Can someone explain the concept at 3:00? I feel like they made a mistake. I think the graphic of the ship sinking/floating is reversed. Why would displacing more water allow it to float? If you displace more water, you take up more weight. It’s the reason the water in your bath rises when you get in. Pls help.

  12. who thought that at 4:03, syracusia was actually gonna sink?? be honest.

  13. We all know how this turned out.. oh wait, why was i thinking about titanic?

  14. What I want to research is whether the French got their hands on Archimedes Pampelist and use it to steer the direction of mathematics in France through the late 1700's. I personally think they did.

  15. Even if I am greek, I really enjoy these videos and the stories. I watch them again and again!

  16. Archimedes : Now I see how icebergs float

    Titanic : Well, I couldn't

  17. My gashhh I have to understand the whole math equation again…

    Thought I'm done with these laws in school😂

  18. why does dis sound like a science lesson?…..or is it?!…😱😲

  19. @ everyone saying these engineers were better than the ones who built titanic- The problem with titanic wasn't just how it was built, it was the fact that the company didn't bother to equip the boat with all the safety boats that were legally required and the fact that many many many many lifeboats were dispatched without being filled to its full capacity. Also, the company didn't use all the correct materials that it should have in order to save money.

  20. I literally searched 'Eureka' cause my name is Eureka , & I feel weird 🙄🤐😂

  21. When I was little, dad used to tell me that Archimedes sat down in the bath and then cried "Eureka", and everybody thought it meant "ouch! I burned myself!"

  22. So basically…the weight of the base portion of the ship, has to be equivalent or higher than the top portion of the boat to stay afloat? Right?

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