Heron of Alexandria

Heron of Alexandria hēr´ŏn [key] or Hero, mathematician and inventor. The dates of his birth and death are unknown conjecture places them between the 2d cent. BC and the 3d cent. AD He is believed to have lived in Alexandria although he wrote in Greek, his origin is uncertain. Several of his works survive either in Greek or in Latin translation. He wrote on the measurement of geometric figures, and a formula for finding the area of a triangle has been ascribed to him. Known for his study of mechanics and pneumatics, he invented many contrivances operated by water, steam, or compressed air these include a fountain, a fire engine, siphons, and an engine in which the recoil of steam revolves a ball or a wheel.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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