Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer Archimedes made many great scientific discoveries throughout his life. He explained why and how bodies float in the water, designed mirror arrays capable of focusing sun rays and setting enemy ships on fire, found the way of approximating the number of grains of sand that will fit inside the universe.
Now to the brain teaser part.
His tomb was decorated with his favorite discovery. Which one of the following three sculptures was honoring Archimedes, and why?
- A golden crown commemorating his famous Eureka moment in the bath
- A lever with which he promised one could move the Earth
- A simple cylinder and a sphere
The puzzle answer is below. Please think about it before checking it out…
The correct answer is 3. What Archimedes himself regarded as his greatest mathematical accomplishment was his proof that an sphere has two thirds of the volume and surface area of the cylinder constructed around it. Therefore the sculpture of a simple sphere boxed in a cylinder was placed on his gravestone — and perhaps that tomb opening in the picture above gave you a subliminal clue 🙂
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