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The Year of Ibn Al-Haytham
Published Date: 
15/02/2011

Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham (Alhazen)  was a 10th century polymath from Basra (in modern-day Iraq), who is often referred to as the ‘father of modern optics’. He spent much of his life living in Egypt, including a decade under house arrest, which was where he published his most celebrated work, Kitab al-Manazir (The Book of Optics).

 

Ibn Al-Haytham made significant advancements in optics, Mathematics and Astronomy, and has laid down the foundations of the present day scientific method. Ibn Al-Haytham’s work on optics is credited with contributing a new emphasis on carefully designed experiment to test theories and hypotheses.

Ibn Al-Haytham is credited with explaining the nature of light and vision, using what is now commonly referred to as a Camera Obscura.

Ibn Al-Haytham wrote as many as 200 books, although only 55 have survived. Translations of his work are known to have influenced many Renaissance thinkers, such as Roger Bacon, Christian Huygens, and René Descartes..

He was known in the West as “Alhazen”, and the crater Alhazen on the Moon is named in his honour, as is the asteroid 59239 Alhazen.

Further announcements will be made shortly...

 


Scene from the 1001 inventions and The Library of Secrets

 


Illustration of Camera Obscura, from 1001 Inventions book

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