Scientists in upstate New York are working to restore a tenth
century manuscript which is the only known copy of the writings of
the Greek mathematician Archimedes.
The text was wiped out by a monk 200 years after it was written
and covered by other writing, but the scientists at Rochester
Institute of Technology are using some of the latest technology to
uncover the original words.
170 pages of brilliance
The 170-page manuscript has been described by one expert as
Archimedes' "brain in a book".
It details several of his ground-breaking ideas, including his
theory of the flotation of bodies and theorems which contain the
roots of modern calculus and gravitational principles.
The RIT scientists are now using digital cameras and
ultra-violet and infra-red filters to see through the overwritten
material to what remains of the original words and drawings.
The text was sold at auction for $2m in 1998.
are hoping their work will persuade the museum where it is now kept
that they should be given the entire manuscript to restore.