Feathers and lead

When Archimedes jumped out of his bathtub
Shouting ‘Eureka’ naked down the streets,
He had finally found a way to uncover
The deceit on behalf of His Majesty’s goldsmith.

Had he stolen gold replacing it with silver
While carving the divine wreath commissioned by the Tyrant?
The Golden Crown of Syracuse to be placed on the head
Of a goddess to be tested without being disturbed.

It all began with overflow as he dipped his body in water.
It was evident and easy to observe
That some objects floated while others sank,
Occupying more or less, tri-dimensional space.

Fluids rejecting or enveloping the intruder,
Displaced proportionally to the latter’s
Volume, density and mass, led to the revolutionary
Discovery of buoyancy, sparkling new beginnings.

The understanding suggested, that if an object displaced
An amount of water heavier than its weight, it would float.
The opposite being true, an object displacing
An amount of water lighter than its weight, would sink.

Fluid’s volition to reclaim its legitimate space.

Although the system was unable to assess the fraud,
As shape came into account and a kilo of solid gold
Was smaller than the kilo of golden wrath,
Dipped into water discrepancy ignored the math.

Unpredictably, the genius found higher purposes,
Buoyancy to determine whether a steel ship would sink
Or float, make it through the Mediterranean and beyond,
Where the Pillars of Hercules warn sailors to go no further.

Non plus ultra to the realms of the unknown.

The understanding suggesting that if an object displaced
An amount of water heavier than its weight, it would float,
Bigger volumes, lower densities, empty hulls and ballasts,
Succeeded in opening the gates to new oceans and new worlds.

Buoyancy to explain why our bodies float at sea
Apparently rejected by expelling waters claiming back their territory.

Gases being fluids, air acts the same,
With the extraordinary result that a kilo of feathers
Is indeed lighter that a kilo of lead.
By 0,9 grams.

[Featured painting: Buoyancy by Michelle Gibbs @Saatchiart]


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