Science Archimedes x2

Science Archimedes x2

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  • He got Archimedes to help him who at the time was only 22! Archimedes thought long and hard for a while on trying to find a solution to Hiero’s concern.
  • Well how did Hiero find out if the crown he got made was pure gold?
  • Of course! It’s an interesting story actually. He was going for his daily bath when the method came to him. As he lowered himself in the bath some of the water spilled out and he realised the lower he went the more water would come out.
  • So did he come up with a solution?
  • Right I get it! Did he put the same amount of gold Hiero lent him into water and then measured how much water was displaced once the gold was fully dipped in? Then did he repeat the same process with the crown and some silver? Wow, Archimedes must’ve been so excited to have figured it out!
  • Yes exactly! He was because when he thought of it he jumped out of the bath and yelled ‘Eureka’ which is Greek for ‘I have found it!’
  • Really? So I understand the process but if the substances/objects are different amounts how would it be fair?
  • Well Michael, gold is heavier than silver even if there is an equal amount of the two, which I’m sure Archimedes was aware of - so with that knowledge he could determine that if the crown was a mixture of both silver and gold it would be heavier and displace more water than the individual gold itself.
  • I’m really interested in this! Can you tell me the procedure?
  • Definitely! First he tested and measured the displaced water from the larger piece of silver. Then he used the same amount of water in the vessel and measured the displaced water from the gold.
  • Was he right? Did the gold weigh more? 
  • Actually the gold displaced less water! So then if once he placed the crown in the water and it let out more water than the gold did, he’d know the crown wouldn’t be pure gold.
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