September 22, 2018 – January 7, 2019
The Science of Archimedes is an international traveling exhibit from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy. This exciting exhibit highlights both science and history through the inventions and scientific discoveries of one of the leading scientists of classical antiquity, Archimedes, who lived over 2,000 years ago.
Visitors will learn about machines, shapes, mathematics and solve puzzles as they investigate the stunning achievements of Archimedes, a man ahead of his time who inspired the greatest scientists in history.
Visitors can explore the science of Archimedes for themselves through interactive exhibits curated into four themes: Machines of the Ancient World; Energy Machines; The Power of Shapes; and Archimedes' Legacy.
THE FIRST GREAT AGE OF SCIENCE
Archimedes’ time, known as the Hellenistic era, started with the period of peace which began following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. While amassing a huge empire, Greek civilization achieved substantial scientific advancement. The merger of Egyptian and Mesopotamian technical knowledge (construction and arithmetic skills) with sophisticated Greek geometry gave the Greeks the military edge over their enemies.
During this period, Greek mathematicians led by Archimedes of Syracuse, revolutionized the world, inventing new machines for engineering and for war. They built lighthouses, harnessed the Sun’s energy using mirrors and discovered ways to balance large objects in water (buoyancy) in order to build huge ships. Using geometry, they were able to measure the Earth’s distance from the Sun, the size of our planet and even track its moment around the Sun.
EXPLORE THE EXHIBIT
- Machines of the Ancient World
Visitors can use the ancient legendary machines associated with Archimedes’ life such as Ballistae, ‘iron-hands’ and ‘burning mirrors’ for sinking ships, as well as machines for building the great Pyramids of Egypt.
- Energy Machines
These ancient machines were designed to work with the energy of gravity, wind flow, water flow and solar rays. This area showcases ancient holograms, huge dishes for sound propagation, the lost lighthouse of Alexandria and reveals the secret behind Archimedes’ mechanical paradox in which objects roll ‘uphill’.
- The Power of Shapes
Archimedes’ mastery of geometry allowed him to create practical technology that revolutionized his world. In this section, visitors can have fun with geometry, solve puzzles and use the building blocks of the 3rd century.
- Archimedes Legacy
Archimedes’ lasting impact can be clearly seen through the examination of the legends of science who studied his writings and took his ideas further. In this theme, we delve into the works of the two most notable scientists influenced by his work: Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei.