Mathematical Workshop in Arkimedeion Museum in Syracuse

     

 

                           Which word boomed through the streets of Syracuse ?


During the final meeting in Sicily we organized the Mathematical Workshop for students and teachers in the Arkimedeion Museum.

 

This Museum is dedicated to the inventions of Archimedes. It is similar to a museum of science, indeed there are not exposed ancient archaeological finds but the reconstruction of Archimede's inventions. Archimedes was an inventor and scientist who lived in Syracuse in the 3rd century BC. With his works he laid the foundations of modern science. In the museum you will find the reconstruction of dozens of interactive machines as well as explanatory panels in English, Italian and Spanish. Monitors with touchpads and videos explain the theoretical concepts of Archimede's laws and the visitors can "play" themselves with the machines.

The starting point is mathematics. The visitor, with the help of a laser beam, can "cut" a cone to obtain circles, ellipses and parabolas. Follows the explanation of Archimede's principle and then the properties of parabolas with a funny projection trick. A section of the Arkimedeion is dedicated to the explanation of Archimede's famous burning mirrors. The legend tells that Archimedes burned the Roman navy which besieged Syracuse with the help of big burning mirrors. But the greek inventor loved plays too. A room contains the stomachion, an ancient play that allowed to compose figures of fantasy. But it is also the bases for important mathematical studies. The museum continues with a lot of other funny and educational machines, from the spiral of Archimedes to squaring of the circle.

Workshop Activities

THE TEMPLE

The columns of the temple represent Archimedes' perceptions sustaining the major disciplines of modern mathematics. Science, as we know it today, began with Galileo and Newton as a method for understanding reality. However, there was a briliant mind in Syracuse that, over 2000 years beforehand, had intuited most of the pillars that support today's mathematics and science.

 

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ARCHIMEDEAN SOLIDS

 

" The Syracusan genius worked on the possible truncations of Platonic figures "

 

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SPHERE AND CYLINDER

" A sphere has a volume equal to 2/3 that of the cylinder in which it is inscribed "

 

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OSTOMACHION

" Advances in combinatorial analysis"

 

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SQUARING THE CIRCLE

"Reduce an apparently heightened difficulty to problems whose soultion is instead already known"

 

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ARITHMETIC OF SAND

"The secret harmonies that govern the cosmos"

 

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SAND SPIRAL

"The essential formula of Life is written in a spiral"

 

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CONIC SECTIONS

"Impose an intelligible order (cosmos) on chaos"

 

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MECHANICAL PARADOX

"Archimedes was to be the first to combine mechanics with mathematics"

 

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PARABOLOIDS - BURNING MIRRORS

"A large parabolic mirror capable of making use of solar energy"

 

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THE LEVER

"Give me a fulcrum and I shall move the world"

 

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CATAPULT

"War machines created by the ingenious mind of Archimedes"

 

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Visit Virtual Laboratory

http://www.arkimedeion.it/PROGRAMMA

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Mathematical puzzle

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