How Archimedes managed to count all the grains of sand in the Universe

  • Dalia Ventura
  • BBC World News

7 hours


“He put all his affection and ambition in those purest speculations that do not admit reference to the vulgar necessities of life”, said Plutarco about Archimedes.

Ambition is sometimes frowned upon, and Archimedes, the 3rd century BC Greek mathematician, was definitely guilty of that sin.

But his was greed to know, the most commendable.

Tired of being said that things difficult to count – like sand – were infinite, he set himself the task of doing so.

As you hear it: he set out to count all the grains of sand that could fit in the known Universe.

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