Monday, December 17, 2007

Fuerza Ascensional


How Ships Float?

A pebble tossed in a pond will surely sink to the bottom. Even our five-centavo coin will not float in water. What is amazing is how ship, made of steel and is very heavy, can float in water.

The answer lies in a principle discovered by Archimedes 2200 years ago. Archimedes is a Greek mathematician who lived in Syracuse. One day as he was getting into the bath, he noticed that as he lowered himself into the tub, water was displaced over the sides. According to the story, he run naked into the street yelling “Eureka!” (I found it!). What he found was the principle of buoyancy – that the object will float when the weight of water displaces equals its own weight. What he discovered was not how ships float, but which is denser, gold or silver. This helped him determine whether the king’s crown was made of pure gold or had silver in it.

For the ship to float, it must displace a volume of water as heavy as its weight. One thing that must be considered also is how the weight is distributed. A chunk of steel put on the surface of a pond will sink. But if the same chunk is shaped into a bowl, it will float. This is because of the bowl’s weight is spread over a wider area. This same principle applies with the ship.


1 comment:

  1. Another informative post. This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to several more times this year!


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