Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Archimedes and Method of Exhaustion Information
Name: Matthew Johnson
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

I am interested in finding out about the method of exhaustion used by Archimedes to find the area of a sphere. We talked a little about this in my calculus class, but did not have the time to hear about this early version of calculus before it became "discovered". I would like to know about the notation used by Archimedes, what he discovered, and where to find more about this interesting early math history.

I would appreciate a response here. Thank you.

A book available in many libraries, I expect, is The Works of Archimedes with the Method of Archimedes edited by T. L. Heath (Dover Reprint). Heath translates the work into modern notation. This is reasonable since we are trained to read modern form, much of which did not exist in the time of Archimedes. For another source, in which the author claims to produce a notation for the purpose of bringing us closer to the times of the work, is "Archimedes", by E. J. Dijksterhuis (Princeton U. Press, 1987, ISBN 0691084211).


Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory