Physics and Chemistry


Who discovered the principle of buoyancy?

Buoyancy was first discovered by the Greek mathematician Archimedes (c. 287–212 B.C.E.). The famous story recounts how the king of Syracuse, Hieron II (c. 306–c. 215 B.C.E.), asked Archimdes to verify that his crown was made of pure gold without destroying the crown. When Archimedes entered his bath, he noticed that the water overflowed the tub. He realized that the volume water that flowed out of the bath had to be equal to the volume of his own body that was immersed in the bath. Shouting “Eureka,” he ran through the streets of Syracuse announcing he had found a method to determine whether the king’s crown was made of pure gold. He could measure the amount of water that was displaced by a block of pure gold of the same weight as the crown. If the crown was made of pure gold, it would displace the same amount of water as the block of gold. The principle of buoyancy, also known as Archimedes’s principle, states that the buoyant force acting on an object placed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.


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