This one is provenanced to W.
Till, in BCE, the Syracusan troops, tired of the inefficiencies of their leaders, elected commanders from amongst themselves.
One of these was a young general called Hiero. Now, Hiero had a natural flair and talent for leadership and politics. He managed, through his connections, to enter the city and take over its government, but so smoothly and efficiently, that the citizens of Syracuse, who usually did not approve of soldiers choosing their own commanders, did so in this case.
Then, after a great battle in BCE, in which Hiero led the Syracusans to victory against their enemies, the people of Syracuse chose Hiero to be their king. Hiero was grateful to the gods for his success and good fortune, and to show his gratitude, he decided to place in a certain temple, a golden crown in their honour.
The crown was to be shaped like a laurel wreath. Hiero weighed out a precise amount of gold, and appointing a goldsmith, commanded him to fashion out of the gold a wreath worthy of the gods.
The goldsmith did as he had been ordered, and on he appointed day, he delivered to the king an exquisitely wrought crown, shaped, as the king had ordered, like a laurel wreath. The wreath seemed to weight exactly as much as the gold that the king had given the goldsmith.
Hiero was pleased, and paid the goldsmith handsomely. The goldsmith, receiving his payment, went away. Hiero made preparations for the ceremony to place the wreath in the temple that he had chosen.
But a few days before the ceremony, he heard rumours that the goldsmith had cheated him, and given him a crown not of pure gold, but of gold that had silver mixed in it. The goldsmith, said the rumours, had replaced some of the gold that Hiero had given him, with an equal weight of silver.
Hiero was furious to learn that he might have been tricked. But he was a fair-minded man and wished to determine the truth before he punished the goldsmith.
If the goldsmith had indeed cheated him and mixed silver into the gold, then the goldsmith would have to be punished, and the crown could no longer be given as an offering to the gods.
But if the goldsmith had been honest, then the crown remained what it had been intended to be, a sacred offering, and it would be placed in the temple as planned. So it was important that Hiero find out the truth quickly, before the day fixed for the ceremony, and without damaging the crown in any way.
Hiero believed there was only one man in Syracuse capable of discovering the truth and solving his problem. This was his cousin, Archimedes, a young man of 22, who was already renowned for his work in mathematics, mechanics and physics.
Still thinking about the golden crown, he went through the rituals of cleansing and washing, and stepped into a tub of cool water for his final dip. As he began to lower himself into the water, the water in the tub began to spill out over the sides.
Curious, Archimedes continued to lower himself slowly into the water, and he noticed that the more his body sank into the water, the more water ran out over the sides of the tub. I have found it! So, he could measure the volume of the crown by measuring the volume of the water spilled from a container filled with water to the brim when the crown was fully dipped in it.
In physics, when we speak of the density of an object, we are comparing its mass with its volume, or, in simpler words, considering how heavy it is in relation to its size. For example, iron is denser than cork.
So a lump of iron is much heavier than a piece of cork of the same size, or much smaller than a piece of cork of the same weight. Archimedes knew that gold was denser than silver — so a piece of gold weighing a certain amount would be smaller than a piece of silver weighing the same: So now, all that remained for Archimedes to do was to compare the volume of the crown to the volume of the amount of gold that Hiero had given the goldsmith.
The simplest method of determining the volume of the crown would have been to melt it down, shape it into a cube and measure its volume. But Hiero had given strict instructions that the crown was not to be damaged in any way. So how was the volume to be determined? First, Archimedes took a lump of gold and a lump of silver, each weighing exactly the same as the crown, and filled a large vessel with water to the brim, precisely measuring how much water was contained in the vessel.
He then gently lowered the lump of silver into it. This caused as much water to spill out over the sides of the vessel as was equal in volume to the lump of silver.Felinfoel Brewery was a major supplier to British armed forces abroad in the Second World War - cans saved a great deal of space and weight for wartime exports compared to glass bottles, and did.
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