THIS BOOK HAS ONLY ONE PURPOSE: To make the discoveries of Archimedes easily accessible to a wide audience, from anyone with a background in high school algebra to a busy practicing mathematician.
Many people have heard two things about Archimedes: He was the greatest mathematician of antiquity and he ran naked from his bath crying, "Eureka, eureka!" Few of us, layperson or mathematician, are familiar with the accomplishments on which his reputation rests. This book describes in detail those astonishing accomplishments: how he
developed the theory of the lever and the center of gravity; how he used the center of gravity to study whether a floating object would tip over; how he summed a geometric series and the squares; and how he found the volume and surface area of a sphere. His ability to do so much with the few tools at his disposal is astonishing. He was like a one-person Institute for Advanced Study, making fundamental discoveries in the fields of geometry, mechanics and hydrostatics.
The exposition is leisurely and supported by a brief life of Archimedes and some 120 illustrations. Any reader who is aware that the graph of y = x2 is a parabola can follow all the reasoning. Although the book uses only high school mathematics, professional mathematicians will find much here of interest as well.