The Greatest Mathematician – Archimedes and his Eureka! Moment Reviewed By Wendy Thomas Of Bookpleasures.com

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Wendy Thomas

Reviewer Wendy Thomas. Wendy lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband and six children, ages 9-17 and has been published in various regional magazines and newspapers. She writes a weekly column, Simple Thrift for the Nashua Telegraph.

By Wendy Thomas

Published on November 25, 2009

Author: Paul Hightower

Publisher: Enslow Publishers

ISBN: 13: 978-0-7660-3408-2

ISBN: 10: 0-7660-3408-9

Once again, the Enslow Publishing house delivers another wonderful teaching story for children

Author: Paul Hightower

Publisher: Enslow Publishers

ISBN: 13: 978-0-7660-3408-2

ISBN: 10: 0-7660-3408-9

Once again, the Enslow Publishing house delivers another wonderful teaching story for children. In The Greatest Mathematician – Archimedes and his Eureka! Moment we are introduced to Archimedes, you know that guy who focused mirrors on a ship and sank it and who when he figured out how water displacement worked is supposed to have run through the streets naked shouting Eureka!

It’s not clear if these events ever happened and the author explains that but then goes on to methodically tell us what we know about Archimedes and how we came to know it. To add interest to the story included are maps, pictures, and plenty of examples of mathematical principals.

For example, there is an illustration that clearly explains the method of exhaustion used to determine the approximate value of pi. That one picture makes a sometimes difficult concept easy to understand.

There is also a discussion on Hiero’s gold crown and how it was proven to not be solid gold by way of water displacement. That concept is then brought forward to today’s time to explain why large heavy objects like cruise ships can float on water.

Yet another discussion covers the equilibrium of planes, concepts like statics and mechanics, the lever, centers of gravity, and the method (mathematical proofs for problems of mechanics) are clearly explained and when appropriate illustrated.

The author brings the reader up to current times showing us a close up of a page from the Archimedes palimpsest in its original form and when it is enhanced showing some of Archimedes actual writing.

Included at the back of the book are activities you can do which illustrate the principals discussed, a chronology of events, a list of the works of Archimedes, chapter notes, and a glossary.

This is a truly fascinating, well researched and designed book that would hold the attention of any older child who can’t get enough of science.

Paul Hightower is a technical writer and science education consultant. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas.