Article ID: CBB410118444

Archimedes' Floating Bodies on a Spherical Earth (2016)


Archimedes was the first to systematically find the centers of gravity of various solid bodies and to apply this concept in determining stable configurations of floating bodies. In this paper, we discuss an error in a proof developed by Archimedes that involves determining whether a uniform, spherical cap will float stably with its base horizontal in a liquid on a spherical Earth. We present a simpler, corrected proof and discuss aspects of his proof regarding a spherical cap that is not uniform.

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Authors & Contributors
Netz, Reviel
Heath, T. L.
Saito, Ken
Geymonat, Mario
Tchernetska, Natalie
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Apeiron: Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Journal of Dialectics of Nature
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Cambridge University Press
Da Capo Press
Baylor University Press
Walker & Company
Transmission of texts
Catullus, Gaius Valerius
Heiberg, Johan Ludvig
Time Periods
19th century
Babylon (extinct city)

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