The sand reckoner greek uu psammites is a work by archimedes in which he set out to determine an upper bound for the number of grains of sand that fit into the universein order to do this he had to estimate the size of the universe according to the contemporary model and invent a way to talk about extremely large numbers. The sand reckoner of archimedes translated by thomas l heath original publication cambridge university press 1897 scanned proofed and formatted by john bruno hare at sacred textscom this text is in the public domain in the united states because it was published prior to 1923. The sand reckoner is a remarkable work in which archimedes proposes a number system that uses powers of a myriad myriad base 100000000 and is capable of expressing numbers up to 8 x 10 63 in modern notation he argues in this work that this number is large enough to count the number of grains of sand. Thesand reckoner 223 2 thediameteroftheearthisgreaterthanthediameterof themoonandthediameterof sunisgreaterthanthediameter oftlteearth . De arenae numero archimedes main sand reckoner statements in modern terms there are no more than a myriad 10000 grains of sand in a poppy seed by definition the universe is a sphere whose radius is the earth sun distance the sphere of fixed stars is to the universe what the universe is to the earth
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