Ctesibius of Alexandria
- or Ktesibios of Alexandriaflourished с 270 BCGreek physicist and inventor.He was the first great figure of the ancient engineering tradition of Alexandria, Egypt, which culminated with Heron of Alexandria and Philo of Byzantium. He discovered the elasticity of air and invented several devices using compressed air, including force pumps and an air-powered catapult; an improvement of the water clock, in which water dripping at a constant rate raised a float with a pointer; and a hydraulus (water organ), in which the weight of water forced air through the organ pipes. His writings have not survived, and his inventions are known only from references to them.
* * *▪ Greek physicist and inventorCtesibius also spelled Ktesibiosflourished c. 270 BCGreek physicist and inventor, the first great figure of the ancient engineering tradition of Alexandria, Egypt.Ctesibius was the son of a barber. The discovery of the elasticity of air is attributed to Ctesibius, as is the invention of several devices using compressed air, including force pumps and an air-powered catapult. His most famous invention, however, was an improvement of the clepsydra, or water clock, in which water dripping at a constant rate raised a float that held a pointer to mark the passage of the hours. Another notable invention was a hydraulis, or water organ, in which air was forced through the organ pipes by the weight of water rather than by falling lead weights. Ctesibius' writings have not survived, and his inventions are known only from references to them by Vitruvius and Hero of Alexandria, but he laid the foundations for the engineering tradition that culminated in the works of Hero of Alexandria and of Philo of Byzantium.
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Alexandria — /al ig zan dree euh, zahn /, n. 1. Arabic, Al Iskandarîyah. a seaport in N Egypt, in the Nile delta: founded in 332 B.C. by Alexander the Great; ancient center of learning. 2,201,000. 2. a city in NE Virginia, S of the District of Columbia.… … Universalium
Alexandria, Ctesibius of — See: Ctesibius of Alexandria … Biographical history of technology
Ctesibius — For the lunar crater, see Ctesibius (crater). Ctesibius or Ktesibios or Tesibius (Greek: Κτησίβιος) (fl. 285–222 BC) was a Greek inventor and mathematician in Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt. He wrote the first treatises on the science of… … Wikipedia
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Hero of Alexandria — SUBJECT AREA: Architecture and building, Mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic engineering, Photography, film and optics, Steam and internal combustion engines [br] fl. c.62 AD Alexandria [br] Alexandrian mathematician and mechanician. [br] Nothing … Biographical history of technology
Ktesibios of Alexandria — See: Ctesibius of Alexandria … Biographical history of technology
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