The Sand Reckoner  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Sand Reckoner (Αρχιμήδης Ψαμμίτης, Archimedes Psammites) is a work by Archimedes in which he set out to determine an upper bound for the number of grains of sand that fit into the universe. In order to do this, he had to estimate the size of the universe according to the contemporary model, and invent a way to talk about extremely large numbers. The work, also known in Latin as Archimedis Syracusani Arenarius & Dimensio Circuli, which is about 8 pages long in translation, is addressed to the Syracusan king Gelo II (son of Hiero II), and is probably the most accessible work of Archimedes; in some sense, it is the first research-expository paper.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Sand Reckoner" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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