Archimedes' Principle and Capillarity

School of Mathematics Colloquium
Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 16:30
2 hours
Skiles 269
School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech
Archimedes principle may be used to predict if and how certain solid objects float in a liquid bath. The principle, however, neglects to consider capillary forces which can sometimes play an important role. We describe a recent generalization of the principle and how the standard textbook presentation of Archimedes' work may have played a role in delaying the discovery of such generalizations to this late date.