full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Armand D'Angour: The real story behind Archimedes' Eureka!

Unscramble the Blue Letters

When you think of Archimedes' "Eureka!" moment, you probably think of this. As it turns out, it may have been more like this. In the third century BC, Hieron, king of the Sicilian city of Syracuse, chose aihemdecrs to supervise an engineering project of unprecedented scale. Hieron commissioned a sailing vessel 50 times bigger than a standard ancient warship, nmead the Syracusia after his city. Hieron wanted to crnscuott the largest ship ever, which was deistend to be given as a present for Egypt's ruler, Ptolemy. But could a boat the size of a palace possibly float? In Archimedes's day, no one had attempted anything like this. It was like asking, "Can a mountain fly?" King Hieron had a lot riding on that question. huddrens of workmen were to labor for years on constructing the Syracusia out of beams of pine and fir from Mount Etna, ropes from hemp grown in sapin, and pcith from France. The top deck, on which eight watchtowers were to stand, was to be supported not by columns, but by vast weoodn images of aatls hnlidog the wlrod on his shoulders. On the ship's bow, a massive catapult would be able to fire 180 pnuod stone missiles. For the enjoyment of its passengers, the ship was to faeurte a flower-lined promenade, a sheltered swimming pool, and bhuhostae with heated water, a library filled with books and stetuas, a temple to the goddess Aphrodite, and a gymnasium. And just to make things more difficult for Archimedes, horein intended to pack the vessel full of cargo: 400 tons of grain, 10,000 jars of pickled fish, 74 tons of drinking water, and 600 tons of wool. It would have carried well over a thousand people on board, including 600 soldiers. And it housed 20 horses in separate stllas. To bliud something of this slcae, only for that to sink on its maiedn voyage? Well, let's just say that failure wouldn't have been a pleasant option for Archimedes. So he took on the problem: will it sink? Perhaps he was sitting in the bathhouse one day, wondering how a hevay bhttuab can float, when inspiration came to him. An object partially immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. In other words, if a 2,000 ton Syracusia displaced exactly 2,000 tons of water, it would just barely falot. If it displaced 4,000 tons of water, it would float with no problem. Of course, if it only displaced 1,000 tons of water, well, Hieron wouldn't be too happy. This is the law of buoyancy, and engineers still call it Archimedes' Principle. It explains why a seetl seurnakeptr can float as eiasly as a wooden rowboat or a bathtub. If the weight of water displaced by the vessel below the keel is equivalent to the vessel's weight, whatever is above the keel will remain afloat above the wlrneiate. This sounds a lot like another story involving Archimedes and a bathtub, and it's possible that's because they're actually the same story, twisted by the vagaries of history. The cssalacil story of Archimedes' Eureka! and subsequent streak through the streets centers around a crown, or corona in Latin. At the core of the Syracusia sroty is a keel, or krnooe in Greek. Could one have been mixed up for the other? We may never know. On the day the syuacsria airevrd in Egypt on its first and only vgoyae, we can only imagine how residents of Alexandria thronged the horabr to merval at the arrival of this mieatjsc, floating castle. This extraordinary vsesel was the Titanic of the ancient world, except without the sninikg, thanks to our pal, Archimedes.

Open Cloze

When you think of Archimedes' "Eureka!" moment, you probably think of this. As it turns out, it may have been more like this. In the third century BC, Hieron, king of the Sicilian city of Syracuse, chose __________ to supervise an engineering project of unprecedented scale. Hieron commissioned a sailing vessel 50 times bigger than a standard ancient warship, _____ the Syracusia after his city. Hieron wanted to _________ the largest ship ever, which was ________ to be given as a present for Egypt's ruler, Ptolemy. But could a boat the size of a palace possibly float? In Archimedes's day, no one had attempted anything like this. It was like asking, "Can a mountain fly?" King Hieron had a lot riding on that question. ________ of workmen were to labor for years on constructing the Syracusia out of beams of pine and fir from Mount Etna, ropes from hemp grown in _____, and _____ from France. The top deck, on which eight watchtowers were to stand, was to be supported not by columns, but by vast ______ images of _____ _______ the _____ on his shoulders. On the ship's bow, a massive catapult would be able to fire 180 _____ stone missiles. For the enjoyment of its passengers, the ship was to _______ a flower-lined promenade, a sheltered swimming pool, and _________ with heated water, a library filled with books and _______, a temple to the goddess Aphrodite, and a gymnasium. And just to make things more difficult for Archimedes, ______ intended to pack the vessel full of cargo: 400 tons of grain, 10,000 jars of pickled fish, 74 tons of drinking water, and 600 tons of wool. It would have carried well over a thousand people on board, including 600 soldiers. And it housed 20 horses in separate ______. To _____ something of this _____, only for that to sink on its ______ voyage? Well, let's just say that failure wouldn't have been a pleasant option for Archimedes. So he took on the problem: will it sink? Perhaps he was sitting in the bathhouse one day, wondering how a _____ _______ can float, when inspiration came to him. An object partially immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. In other words, if a 2,000 ton Syracusia displaced exactly 2,000 tons of water, it would just barely _____. If it displaced 4,000 tons of water, it would float with no problem. Of course, if it only displaced 1,000 tons of water, well, Hieron wouldn't be too happy. This is the law of buoyancy, and engineers still call it Archimedes' Principle. It explains why a _____ ___________ can float as ______ as a wooden rowboat or a bathtub. If the weight of water displaced by the vessel below the keel is equivalent to the vessel's weight, whatever is above the keel will remain afloat above the _________. This sounds a lot like another story involving Archimedes and a bathtub, and it's possible that's because they're actually the same story, twisted by the vagaries of history. The _________ story of Archimedes' Eureka! and subsequent streak through the streets centers around a crown, or corona in Latin. At the core of the Syracusia _____ is a keel, or ______ in Greek. Could one have been mixed up for the other? We may never know. On the day the _________ _______ in Egypt on its first and only ______, we can only imagine how residents of Alexandria thronged the ______ to ______ at the arrival of this ________, floating castle. This extraordinary ______ was the Titanic of the ancient world, except without the _______, thanks to our pal, Archimedes.

Solution

  1. arrived
  2. atlas
  3. sinking
  4. supertanker
  5. marvel
  6. easily
  7. heavy
  8. korone
  9. scale
  10. hundreds
  11. bathtub
  12. bathhouse
  13. named
  14. holding
  15. stalls
  16. voyage
  17. steel
  18. construct
  19. harbor
  20. feature
  21. waterline
  22. pitch
  23. archimedes
  24. hieron
  25. float
  26. statues
  27. maiden
  28. vessel
  29. pound
  30. classical
  31. spain
  32. world
  33. majestic
  34. build
  35. syracusia
  36. destined
  37. story
  38. wooden

Original Text

When you think of Archimedes' "Eureka!" moment, you probably think of this. As it turns out, it may have been more like this. In the third century BC, Hieron, king of the Sicilian city of Syracuse, chose Archimedes to supervise an engineering project of unprecedented scale. Hieron commissioned a sailing vessel 50 times bigger than a standard ancient warship, named the Syracusia after his city. Hieron wanted to construct the largest ship ever, which was destined to be given as a present for Egypt's ruler, Ptolemy. But could a boat the size of a palace possibly float? In Archimedes's day, no one had attempted anything like this. It was like asking, "Can a mountain fly?" King Hieron had a lot riding on that question. Hundreds of workmen were to labor for years on constructing the Syracusia out of beams of pine and fir from Mount Etna, ropes from hemp grown in Spain, and pitch from France. The top deck, on which eight watchtowers were to stand, was to be supported not by columns, but by vast wooden images of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders. On the ship's bow, a massive catapult would be able to fire 180 pound stone missiles. For the enjoyment of its passengers, the ship was to feature a flower-lined promenade, a sheltered swimming pool, and bathhouse with heated water, a library filled with books and statues, a temple to the goddess Aphrodite, and a gymnasium. And just to make things more difficult for Archimedes, Hieron intended to pack the vessel full of cargo: 400 tons of grain, 10,000 jars of pickled fish, 74 tons of drinking water, and 600 tons of wool. It would have carried well over a thousand people on board, including 600 soldiers. And it housed 20 horses in separate stalls. To build something of this scale, only for that to sink on its maiden voyage? Well, let's just say that failure wouldn't have been a pleasant option for Archimedes. So he took on the problem: will it sink? Perhaps he was sitting in the bathhouse one day, wondering how a heavy bathtub can float, when inspiration came to him. An object partially immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. In other words, if a 2,000 ton Syracusia displaced exactly 2,000 tons of water, it would just barely float. If it displaced 4,000 tons of water, it would float with no problem. Of course, if it only displaced 1,000 tons of water, well, Hieron wouldn't be too happy. This is the law of buoyancy, and engineers still call it Archimedes' Principle. It explains why a steel supertanker can float as easily as a wooden rowboat or a bathtub. If the weight of water displaced by the vessel below the keel is equivalent to the vessel's weight, whatever is above the keel will remain afloat above the waterline. This sounds a lot like another story involving Archimedes and a bathtub, and it's possible that's because they're actually the same story, twisted by the vagaries of history. The classical story of Archimedes' Eureka! and subsequent streak through the streets centers around a crown, or corona in Latin. At the core of the Syracusia story is a keel, or korone in Greek. Could one have been mixed up for the other? We may never know. On the day the Syracusia arrived in Egypt on its first and only voyage, we can only imagine how residents of Alexandria thronged the harbor to marvel at the arrival of this majestic, floating castle. This extraordinary vessel was the Titanic of the ancient world, except without the sinking, thanks to our pal, Archimedes.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

Important Words

  1. afloat
  2. alexandria
  3. ancient
  4. aphrodite
  5. archimedes
  6. arrival
  7. arrived
  8. atlas
  9. attempted
  10. barely
  11. bathhouse
  12. bathtub
  13. bc
  14. beams
  15. bigger
  16. board
  17. boat
  18. books
  19. bow
  20. build
  21. buoyancy
  22. buoyed
  23. call
  24. carried
  25. castle
  26. catapult
  27. centers
  28. century
  29. chose
  30. city
  31. classical
  32. columns
  33. commissioned
  34. construct
  35. constructing
  36. core
  37. corona
  38. crown
  39. day
  40. deck
  41. destined
  42. difficult
  43. displaced
  44. drinking
  45. easily
  46. egypt
  47. engineering
  48. engineers
  49. enjoyment
  50. equal
  51. equivalent
  52. etna
  53. explains
  54. extraordinary
  55. failure
  56. feature
  57. filled
  58. fir
  59. fire
  60. fish
  61. float
  62. floating
  63. fluid
  64. fly
  65. force
  66. france
  67. full
  68. goddess
  69. grain
  70. greek
  71. grown
  72. gymnasium
  73. happy
  74. harbor
  75. heated
  76. heavy
  77. hemp
  78. hieron
  79. history
  80. holding
  81. horses
  82. housed
  83. hundreds
  84. images
  85. imagine
  86. immersed
  87. including
  88. inspiration
  89. intended
  90. involving
  91. jars
  92. keel
  93. king
  94. korone
  95. labor
  96. largest
  97. latin
  98. law
  99. library
  100. lot
  101. maiden
  102. majestic
  103. marvel
  104. massive
  105. missiles
  106. mixed
  107. moment
  108. mount
  109. mountain
  110. named
  111. object
  112. option
  113. pack
  114. pal
  115. palace
  116. partially
  117. passengers
  118. people
  119. pickled
  120. pine
  121. pitch
  122. pleasant
  123. pool
  124. possibly
  125. pound
  126. present
  127. principle
  128. problem
  129. project
  130. promenade
  131. ptolemy
  132. question
  133. remain
  134. residents
  135. riding
  136. ropes
  137. rowboat
  138. ruler
  139. sailing
  140. scale
  141. separate
  142. sheltered
  143. ship
  144. shoulders
  145. sicilian
  146. sink
  147. sinking
  148. sitting
  149. size
  150. soldiers
  151. sounds
  152. spain
  153. stalls
  154. stand
  155. standard
  156. statues
  157. steel
  158. stone
  159. story
  160. streak
  161. streets
  162. subsequent
  163. supertanker
  164. supervise
  165. supported
  166. swimming
  167. syracuse
  168. syracusia
  169. temple
  170. thousand
  171. thronged
  172. times
  173. titanic
  174. ton
  175. tons
  176. top
  177. turns
  178. twisted
  179. unprecedented
  180. vagaries
  181. vast
  182. vessel
  183. voyage
  184. wanted
  185. warship
  186. watchtowers
  187. water
  188. waterline
  189. weight
  190. wondering
  191. wooden
  192. wool
  193. words
  194. workmen
  195. world
  196. years