What connects an ancient Greek mathematician to the catchphrase of the California Gold Rush? The short answer is a potentially apocryphal story involving a bathtub, a crown, and some mild nudity.
Today’s episode asks why the Greek word “eureka” is so commonly associated with gold, and tells a popular story about how mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse c. 287 – c. 212 BC) discovered a formula that was later called Archimedes Principle, which is a method for determining the volume of an object with an irregular shape. The object we believe he used in this experiment was a crown… or was it a ship?
Listen to our episode and then find out more:
The Cult of Pythagoras: Math and Myth, by University of Texas history professor, Alberto A. Martínez
The Real Story Behind Archimedes’ Eureka!, by Armand D’Angour on TED-Ed