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What is Archimedes' principle?

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Quick Answer

Archimedes' principle states that any body completely or partially submerged in a fluid at rest experiences an upward, or buoyant, force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces. This physical law of buoyancy was discovered by the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, supposedly while he was taking a bath.

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Full Answer

Archimedes'principle has several applications, one of which is to determine density and specific gravity. The principle also explains why objects float. If the weight of displaced liquid equals the weight of an object, it floats. If the displaced liquid weighs less than the object, the object sinks. When an object weighs less than the fluid it displaces, such as a helium-filled balloon, it rises.

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