The book of science
- Lever, pulley, and screw.
- Archimedes was the first to prove
- the mechanical advantage of the lever—
- that the input force is multiplied
- by its distance from the fulcrum
- divided by the output force’s distance.
- The load on a pulley
- is divided by the number of rope sections
- that lift the load.
- The mechanical advantage of a screw
- is the ratio of the circular distance it turns
- to the distance the load moves.
- As Galileo figured, to determine
- whether the king’s crown was made of pure gold,
- Archimedes probably used the principle in hydrostatics
- known as Archimedes’ principle—
- he weighed the crown under water on a scale
- balanced with the proper amount of gold.
- Archimedes used infinitesimals with the method of exhaustion
- to limit the value of π.
- Archimedes used an infinite geometric series
- to determine the areas of parabolic segments.
- Archimedes invented a system of counting to prove
- the number of grains of sand in the world is finite.
- Archimedes explained how to build orreries,
- mechanical models of the solar system with differential gearing.
- Archimedes might have invented Archimedes’ screw
- to pump bilge water from the large ship Syracusia, which he designed.
- Archimedes invented the heat ray, designed the Claw of Archimedes,
- and improved the catapult to defend Syracuse from the Romans.
- Archimedes designed block-and-tackle pulley systems
- to help sailors, and he invented the first odometer.
- Discovering something new is hardly good enough;
- “new” has no meaning without an explanation
- and can be perceived only in relation to the “known.”
- It’s difficult to explain things to those who don’t know much,
- and many who supposedly know, often ignoring
- and taking the known for granted, are oblivious.
- Recent news reports claim that modern humans inherit
- traces of Neanderthal genes, but this ignores the base commonality.
- In fact, 99.7% of the base pairs of the modern human
- are identical to the base pairs of the Neanderthal.
- The human shares around 94% of base pairs with the chimpanzee,
- although a dispassionate analysis might find it should be more.
- The new and improved modern human has made great advances
- in ignorance, egotistic attitudes, and self-deception.