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Eureka! Density!
 edHelper's suggested reading level: grades 5 to 8 Flesch-Kincaid grade level: 6.63

Vocabulary
 challenging words: hypothesis, provided, tremendous, finding, volume, eureka, naked, mathematician, craftsman, based, density, legend, mass, scientist, equal, simply

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 Eureka! Density! By Cindy Grigg

1     What is density? Density is simply the amount of "stuff" in a given space. Scientists measure density by dividing the mass of something by its volume (d = m/v). This is a story about how the concept of density was first "discovered."

2     It is the story of a Greek mathematician named Archimedes who lived around 250 B.C. The King of Syracuse, where Archimedes lived, thought that he was being cheated by the metal craftsman who made his golden crown. The king called Archimedes to him and gave him the task of finding out whether the craftsman had replaced some of the gold in the king's crown with silver. Silver was worth less money than gold, and it also was an insult to the king to be wearing a crown that was not pure gold.

3     The king gave Archimedes some rules. Archimedes could not damage the crown in any way. He could not melt down the crown to see if it was made of other metals. He could not scratch the crown to see if there was silver underneath the golden outside. Archimedes thought about the problem while taking a bath. As he entered the bathing pool, he noticed that water spilled over the sides of the pool. He realized that the amount of water that spilled was equal in volume to the space that his body occupied. This fact suddenly provided him with a method for finding out if the king's crown was made of pure gold.

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