Archimedes the pragmatic engineer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


I introduce Archimedes in the broader context of key inventions in antiquity, and review some of his most celebrated inventions and writings. It is remarkable that many of these continue to be of interest and practical use more than 2000 years after their introduction (e.g., Archimedes’ Principle; the Archimedes screw). Moreover, Archimedes’ approach to inquiry and demonstration of new ideas continues to guide present-day researchers and inventors. Major themes that emerge from studying Archimedes’ work are the desire to test theory; the interplay between theory, modeling, use of prototypes, physical demonstrations and experimentation; the scientist’s approach to popularization of ideas; and the simultaneous satisfaction of the scientist’s quest for knowledge, the demands of patrons and sponsors, and the public’s curiosity and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTrends in the History of Science
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameTrends in the History of Science
ISSN (Print)2297-2951
ISSN (Electronic)2297-296X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Applied Mathematics


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