Archimedes's Measurement of the Sun's Apparent Diameter

  title={Archimedes's Measurement of the Sun's Apparent Diameter},
  author={A. Shapiro},
  journal={Journal for the History of Astronomy},
  pages={75 - 83}
  • A. Shapiro
  • Published 1975
  • Philosophy
  • Journal for the History of Astronomy
Although Archimedes's principal concern in The sand-reckoner is arithmetical, the work is equally important for its astronomical contribution. Archimedes's goal in The sand-reckoner is to demonstrate that he can write a number so large that it will exceed even the number of grains of sand needed to fill the entire universe, so he must first find the size of the universe. It is at this point that Archimedes relates, in a well-known passage, Aristarchus's heliocentric theory. Since an… Expand

Figures from this paper

How big is the Sun: Solar diameter changes over time
Rights and wrongs of the temporal solar radius variability
Solar radius variations: new look on the wavelength dependence


Archimedis opera omnia: Volumen II
Uno strumento astronomico descritto nel corpus Archimedeo: La dioptra di Archimede
  • Physis, xii
  • 1970
Histoire de l'astronomie ancienne (Paris, 1817; reprinted New York, 1965), i, 103-5; Friedrich Hultsch
  • Winkelmessungen durch die Hipparchische Dioptra
  • 1947
]), 223. In Hypothesis 6 Aristarchus assumed "that the Moon subtends one fifteenth part of a sign of the zodiac
  • Aristarchus of Samos (Oxford, 1913), 353)
  • 1912
The works of archimedes
Archimedes, 226; Heath, Aristarchus
    Eine physikalische Prazisionsmessung des Archimedes
    • Archiv fiir Geschichte der Mathematik, der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik, x
    For a description and analysis of this experiment see Lejeune