N° 445
Archimedes and Ship Design

In his written work Archimedes’ primary contributions to ship design were the Law of Buoyancy and the Criterion of Stability of a floating object. These laws form the foundations of the floatability and upright stability of ships. How did he create and justify this fundamental knowledge? Might he have applied it to contemporary issues in the ship design of his era? How was this knowledge passed down through the centuries and when and how was it applied to practical ship design decisions? What is the role of Archimedes’ fundamental insights in today’s ship design? This article will address these issues in its three sections on Archimedes’ own contributions, the history of his heritage in the maritime field and the continuing significance of his physical laws in modern ship design. Motto on Archimedes: All praise him, few read him, all admire him, few understand him. (A. Tacquet, 1612-1660).