Archimedes' Buoyancy Principle

Buoyancy keeps everything from rubber ducks to ocean liners afloat.


After he discovered his principle of buoyancy, the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes allegedly yelled out "Eureka!" and ran naked through the city of Syracuse. The discovery was that important. The story goes that Archimedes made his great breakthrough when he noticed the water rise as he got into the tub [source: Quake].

According to Archimedes' buoyancy principle, the force acting on, or buoying, a submerged or partially submerged object equals the weight of the liquid that the object displaces. This sort of principle has an immense range of applications and is essential to calculations of density, as well as designing submarines and other oceangoing vessels.