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April 1915


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1915;XV(4):628-642. doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00070220130011

HISTORICAL  Specific gravity is one of the first fundamental principles of hydrostatics, and its discovery is ascribed to Archimedes (287 B. C.). The incentive to his discovery and the method of his reasoning is described in the following story which carries with it the flavor of the East:King Hiero ordered his silversmith to make for him a crown of pure gold. When the crown was brought before him he suspected the honesty of the silversmith, and desired to know if Archimedes could devise a way of testing the question without injuring the crown. The philosopher pondered the problem for a long time without succeeding, but one day as he stepped into a bath his attention was attracted by the overflow of water. A new train of ideas was started in his ever receptive brain. Wild with enthusiasm he sprang from the bath, and forgetting his robe,