Ibn al-Haytham

Arab physicist, mathematician and astronomer

965   -   1039 or 1040

occupation: mathematician, physicist, philosopher, astronomer, writer, inventor, astrologer, engineer
influenced by: Aristotle

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (Latinized Alhazen ; full name Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham أبو علي، الحسن بن الحسن بن الهيثم; c. 965 – c. 1040) was an Arab mathematician, astronomer, and physicist of the Islamic Golden Age. Sometimes called "the father of modern optics", he made significant contributions to the principles of optics and visual perception in particular, his most influential work being his Kitāb al-Manāẓir (كتاب المناظر, "Book of Optics"), written during 1011–1021, which survived in the Latin edition. A polymath, he also wrote on philosophy, theology and medicine.Ibn al-Haytham was the first to explain that vision occurs when light bounces on an object and then is directed to one's eyes. And he was the first to point out that vision occurs in the brain, rather than in the eyes. He was also an early proponent of the concept that a hypothesis must be proved by experiments based on confirmable procedures or mathematical evidence—hence understanding the scientific method five centuries before Renaissance scientists.Born in Basra, he spent most of his productive period in the Fatimid capital of Cairo and earned his living authoring various treatises and tutoring members of the nobilities. Ibn al-Haytham is sometimes given the byname al-Baṣrī after his birthplace, or al-Miṣrī ("of Egypt"). Ibn al-Haytham was nicknamed the "Second Ptolemy" by Abu'l-Hasan Bayhaqi, and the "The Physicist" by John Peckham. Ibn al-Haytham paved the way for the modern science of physical optics.
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