Oh, goldsmith! I would love a gold wreath crown to put in a temple for the Gods to show them my gratitude.
Your Majesty, the town are saying that the goldsmith has cheated you and the crown is not made of the pure gold you gave him.
Archimedes, could you please work out whether this crown is pure gold?
Whatever you wish.
In Greece, 275 BC, King Hiero of Sycrause wanted to have a gold crown made and asked the goldsmith to do it.
The volume of an irregular solid is the amount of liquid that comes out of a container when the solid is put in.
The king found out that rumours had been spread that the goldsmith had stolen some gold and replaced it with silver. The king was a fair man and wanted it to be proven first.
The king asked his clever cousin to find out whether the crown was made of pure gold but without damaging the crown.
Goldsmith, you stole some gold and made the Gods' crown impure. You shall be executed.
Archimedes went to have a bath and realised the more he put his body into the water, the more water spilt out. He decided to use this theory for the crown dilemma. Knowing that gold is denser than silver, he put some gold into the water and measured the volume before repeating with silver and then with the crown.
The next morning...
The crown had a smaller volume than the gold so Archimedes realised the king had been cheated as some gold had been replaced with silver. Archimedes went and told the king.
The furious king called the goldsmith to the palace and decided to execute him because he had cheated the king.