Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Greek Inventions and notable creations


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democracy and politics

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Glagolitic alphabet (Saint Cyril, Greek monk)
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wireless early warning system to stop wildfires
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Porto Carras Resort (Yiannis Carras, ship-owner)
+ anchor ++
feta cheese ++ Frappé coffee (Yiannis Dritsas)
+ catapult - invented in 399 BC by Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse. The catapult (also called the ballista) was a major weapon of warfare for well over a thousand years. The range and accuracy was improved by Archimedes.
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water screw (Archimedes) ++ odometer (Archimedes)
+ burnt brick first used in Greece in 355 BC
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integral calculus (Archimedes) ++ mechanical curves (Archimedes)
+ geometric progression (Archimedes) ++ field of
statics (Archimedes)
+ law of the
lever (Archimedes) ++ law of equilibrium of fluids (Archimedes)
+ law of
buoyancy (Archimedes) ++ concept of center of gravity (Archimedes)
+ principle of
density (Archimedes) ++
+ Ctesibius (Ktesibius) (working 285 - 222 BC) of Alexandria (Greek Κτησίβιος) was second only to Archimedes as an inventor and mathematician. His lost work on the elasticity of air On pneumatics still earns him the title of father of pneumatics, for the first treatises on the science of compressed air and its uses in pumps and even a cannon, are his. Like all his other works, however, it has not survived. Even his Memorabilia, a compilation of his research, cited by Athenaeus, is lost.
+ Archimedes proved that the ratio of a circle's perimeter to its diameter is the same as the ratio of the circle's area to the square of the radius. He did not call this ratio π but he gave a procedure to approximate it to arbitrary accuracy and gave an approximation of it as between 3 + 10/71 (approximately 3.1408) and 3 + 1/7 (approximately 3.1429).
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Antikythera Mechanism - based on the study of the unique find from the 80 BC shipwreck discovered in the neighbourhood of the island of Antikythera. This is a complex mechanism with at least 31 gears, which calculates the calendar dates of movable festivals and can be used as a navigational aid based on the relative positions of the constellations.The fragments of the find belong to and are exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
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Hero's automaton - was an ingenious device that moved autonomously through a preprogrammed pattern designed by the inventor, which must have amazed anyone who saw it. The creator of this device was Hero of Alexandria, who lived in about the 1st century AD and invented many automatic gadgets. Historians of science and technology agree that the great Renaissance engineer Leonardo da Vinci was inspired and influenced by Hero's work.
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Hero's odometer - which by means of a suitable arrangement of gears and screws could record the distance covered by a moving chariot. Even today, distance meters (odometers and taximeters) are still based on the same principle.
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Ctesibius' piston pump exploits the successive suction and compression achieved in a pair of cylinders in order to raise liquids. The principle behind this machine is still employed in today's modern pumps.Ctesibius was a mathematician and inventor who lived in the 3rd century BC. Many modern experts refer to him as the "Edison of Antiquity", because of the importance of his work. His inventions include the water clock and the ancient musical instrument known as the hydraulis, which is the forerunner of the modern pipe organ.

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