- Ibn al-Haytham
Infobox_Muslim scholars | notability = Muslim scientist| era =
Islamic Golden Age| color = #cef2e0 |
| image_caption = Ibn al-Haytham drawing taken from a 1982 Iraqi 10-dinar note. |
name = Unicode|Abū ‘Alī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham
title= Ibn al-Haytham and Alhacen| birth = 965 | death = c. 1040 | Maddhab =
Shi'a Muslim| school tradition= Ja'fari | Ethnicity = Araband/or Persian
Iraq( Mesopotamia) and Egypt| main_interests = Anatomy, Astronomy, Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanics, Medicine, Optics, Ophthalmology, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Science
notable idea = Pioneer in
optics, scientific method, experimental science, experimental physics, experimental psychology, visual perception, phenomenology, analytic geometry, non- Ptolemaic astronomy, celestial mechanics
Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Galen, Muhammad, Banū Mūsā, Thabit ibn Qurra, al-Kindi, Ibn Sahl, al-Qūhī
Khayyam, al-Khazini, Averroes, Roger Bacon, Witelo, Pecham, Farisi, Theodoric, Gersonides, Alfonso, von Peuerbach, Taqi al-Din, Risner, Clavius, Kepler, John Wallis, Saccheri
works = "
Book of Optics", "Doubts Concerning Ptolemy", "On the Configuration of the World", "The Model of the Motions", "Treatise on Light", "Treatise on Place"
transl|ar|ALA|Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham (Arabic: ابو علی، حسن بن حسن بن هيثم, Latinized: Alhacen or (deprecated) Alhazen) (965 – c. 1039), was an
Columbia Encyclopedia|edition=Sixth|year=2007|accessdate=2008-01-23|isbn=0787650757|author=Paul Lagasse|publisher=Columbia] and/or Persian [Harv|Child|Shuter|Taylor|1992|p=70
polymath. [Harv|Hamarneh|1972: quote|A great man and a universal genius, long neglected even by his own people. Harv|Bettany|1995: quote|Ibn ai-Haytham provides us with the historical personage of a versatile universal genius.] He made significant contributions to the principles of optics, as well as to anatomy, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine, ophthalmology, philosophy, physics, psychology, visual perception, and to science in general with his introduction of the scientific method. He is sometimes called al-Basri (Arabic: البصري), after his birthplace in the city of Basra. He was also nicknamed "Ptolemaeus Secundus" (" Ptolemythe Second")Harv|Corbin|1993|p=149] or simply "The Physicist" [Harv|Lindberg|1967|p=331] in medieval Europe.
Though born in what is now modern-day
Iraqaround the year 965Harv|Lorch|2008] , he spent most of his life in Cairo, Egypt, dying there at the age of 76. In his over-confidence about the practical application of his mathematical knowledge, he assumed that he could regulate the floods caused by the overflow of the Nile.Harv|Sabra|2003] After being ordered by Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth ruler of the Fatimid caliphate, to carry out this operation, he quickly perceived the inanity of what he was attempting to do, and retired from engineering. Fearing for his life, he feigned madnessHarv|Grant|2008] and was placed under house arrest, during and after which he devoted himself to his scientific work until his death.
Ibn al-Haytham is regarded as the "father of modern optics" [Harv|Verma|1969] for his influential "
Book of Optics" (written while he was under house arrest), which correctly explained and proved the modern intromission theory of vision. He is also recognized so for his experiments on optics, including experiments on lenses, mirrors, refraction, reflection, and the dispersion of lightinto its constituent colours.He studied binocular visionand the Moon illusion, described the finite speed [Harv|MacKay|Oldford|2000] of light, and argued that it is made of particles [Harv|Rashed|2007|p=19: quote|"In his optics ‘‘the smallest parts of light’’, as he calls them, retain only properties that can be treated by geometry and verified by experiment; they lack all sensible qualities except energy."] travelling in straight lines.Harv|Hamarneh|1972|p=119] [Harv|O'Connor|Robertson|2002] Due to his formulation of a modern quantitativeand empiricalapproach to physicsand science, he is considered the pioneer of the modern scientific methodHarv|Agar|2001] and the originator of the experimental nature of physics [Harv|Thiele|2005] and science. [Harv|Omar|1977] Author Bradley Steffens describes him as the "first scientist". [Harv|Steffens|2006] He is also considered by A. I. Sabrato be the founder of experimental psychologyHarv|Khaleefa|1999] for his approach to visual perception and optical illusions,Harv|Steffens|2006, Chapter 5] and a pioneer of the philosophical field of phenomenology or the study of consciousnessfrom a first-person perspective.His "Book of Optics" has been ranked with Isaac Newton's " Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" as one of the most influential books in the history of physics,Harv|Salih|Al-Amri|El Gomati|2005] for starting a revolution in optics and visual perception.
Ibn al-Haytham's achievements include many advances in physics and mathematics. He gave the first clear description and correct analysis of the
camera obscura. He enunciated Fermat's principleof least time and the concept of inertia( Newton's first law of motion), and developed the concept of momentum. He described the attraction between masses and was aware of the magnitude of accelerationdue to gravity at-a-distance.Harv|El-Bizri|2006] He stated that the heavenly bodies were accountable to the laws of physics and also presented a critique and reform of Ptolemaic astronomy. He was the first to state Wilson's theoremin number theory, and he formulated the Lambert quadrilateraland a concept similar to Playfair's axiomHarv|Smith|1992] now used in non-Euclidean geometry. Moreover, he formulated and solved Alhazen's problem geometrically using early ideas related to calculusand mathematical induction. In his optical research, he laid the foundations for the later development of telescopic astronomy,Harv|Marshall|1950] as well as for the microscopeand the use of optical aids in Renaissanceart.
Abū ‘Alī al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (and known in Europe as Alhacen or Alhazen) was born in
Basra, then under the rule of the Buyid dynastyof the Persian Empireand now part of Iraq, and he probably died in Cairo, Egypt. During the Islamic Golden Age, Basra was a "key centre of learning",Harv|Whitaker|2004] and he was educated there and in Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, and the focus of the "high point of Islamic civilisation". During his time in Iraq, he worked as a civil servantand read many theological and scientific books.Harv|O'Connor|Robertson|1999]
One account of his career has him summoned to Egypt by the
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, ruler of the Fatimid Caliphate, to regulate the flooding of the Nile, a task requiring an early attempt at building a damat the present site of the Aswan Dam. [Harv|Rashed|2002b] After his field workmade him aware of the impracticality of this scheme, and fearing the caliph's anger, he feigned madness. He was kept under house arrestfrom 1011 until al-Hakim's death in 1021. [ [http://www.cgie.org.ir/shavad.asp?id=123&avaid=1917 the Great Islamic Encyclopedia] ] During this time, he wrote his influential " Book of Optics".
Although there are stories that Ibn al-Haytham fled to Syria, ventured into Baghdad later in his life, or was even in Basra when he pretended to be insane, it is certain that he was in Egypt by 1038 at the latest. During his time in Cairo, he became associated with
Al-Azhar University, as well the city's "House of Wisdom", [Harv|Van Sertima|1992|p=382] known as "Dar Al-Hekma" ( House of Knowledge), which was a library "second in importance" to Baghdad's House of Wisdom. After his house arrest ended, he wrote scores of other treatises on physics, astronomy and mathematics. He later traveled to Islamic Spain. During this period, he had ample time for his scientific pursuits, which included optics, mathematics, physics, medicine, and the development of scientific methods; he left several outstanding books on these subjects.
Ibn al-Haythem made significant improvements in optics, physical science, and the scientific method which influenced the development of science for over five hundred years after his death. Ibn al-Haytham's work on optics is credited with contributing a new emphasis on experiment. His influence on
physical sciences in general, and on optics in particular, has been held in high esteem and, in fact, ushered in a new era in optical research, both in theory and practice. The scientific method is considered to be so fundamental to modern science that some—especially philosophers of science and practising scientists—consider earlier inquiries into nature to be "pre-scientific". [Harv|Briffault|1928|p=190–202:quote|What we call science arose as a result of new methods of experiment, observation, and measurement, which were introduced into Europe by the Arabs. […] Science is the most momentous contribution of Arab civilization to the modern world, but its fruits were slow in ripening. Not until long after Moorish culture had sunk back into darkness did the giant to which it had given birth, rise in his might. It was not science only which brought Europe back to life. Other and manifold influences from the civilization of Islam communicated its first glow to European life. […] The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories; science owes a great deal more to Arab culture, it owes its existence…The ancient world was, as we saw, pre-scientific. The astronomy and mathematics of Greeks were a foreign importation never thoroughly acclimatized in Greek culture. The Greeks systematized, generalized and theorized, but the patient ways of investigations, the accumulation of positive knowledge, the minute methods of science, detailed and prolonged observation and experimental inquiry were altogether alien to the Greek temperament. […] What we call science arose in Europe as a result of new spirit of enquiry, of new methods of experiment, observation, measurement, of the development of mathematics, in a form unknown to the Greeks. That spirit and those methods were introduced into the European world by the Arabs.] Richard Powersnominated Ibn al-Haytham's scientific method and scientific skepticismas the most influential idea of the second millennium.Harv|Powers|1999] Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics Abdus Salamconsidered Ibn-al-Haytham "one of the greatest physicists of all time."Harv|Salam|1984:quote|Ibn-al-Haitham (Alhazen, 965–1039 CE) was one of the greatest physicists of all time. He made experimental contributions of the highest order in optics. He enunciated that a ray of light, in passing through a medium, takes the path which is the easier and 'quicker'. In this he was anticipating Fermat's Principle of Least Time by many centuries. He enunciated the law of inertia, later to become Newton's first law of motion. Part V of Roger Bacon's "Opus Majus" is practically an annotation to Ibn al Haitham's "Optics".] George Sarton, the father of the history of science, wrote that "Ibn Haytham's writings reveal his fine development of the experimental faculty" and considered him "not only the greatest Muslim physicist, but by all means the greatest of mediaeval times." [Harv|Sarton|1927, "The Time of Al-Biruni":quote|Ibn Haytham's writings reveal his fine development of the experimental faculty. His tables of corresponding angles of incidence and refraction of light passing from one medium to another show how closely he had approached discovering the law of constancy of ratio of sines, later attributed to Snell. He accounted correctly for twilight as due to atmospheric refraction, estimating the sun's depression to be 19 degrees below the horizon, at the commencement of the phenomenon in the mornings or at its termination in the evenings. ( cf.Harv|Dr. Zahoor|Dr. Haq|1997)] Robert S. Elliot considers Ibn al-Haytham to be "one of the ablest students of optics of all times." [Harv|Elliott|1966, Chapter 1:quote|Alhazen was one of the ablest students of optics of all times and published a seven-volume treatise on this subject which had great celebrity throughout the medieval period and strongly influenced Western thought, notably that of Roger Bacon and Kepler. This treatise discussed concave and convex mirrors in both cylindrical and spherical geometries, anticipated Fermat's law of least time, and considered refraction and the magnifying power of lenses. It contained a remarkably lucid description of the optical system of the eye, which study led Alhazen to the belief that light consists of rays which originate in the object seen, and not in the eye, a view contrary to that of Euclid and Ptolemy.] The author Bradley Steffens considers him to be the "first scientist". [Harv|Steffens|2006] The "Biographical Dictionary of Scientists" wrote that Ibn al-Haytham was "probably the greatest scientist of the Middle Ages" and that "his work remained unsurpassed for nearly 600 years until the time of Johannes Kepler." ["Alhazen", in Harv|Abbott|1983|p=75:quote|He was probably the greatest scientist of the Middle Ages and his work remained unsurpassed for nearly 600 years until the time of Johannes Kepler.] At a scientific conference in February 2007 as a part of the Hockney-Falco thesis, Charles M. Falcoargued that Ibn al-Haytham's work on optics may have influenced the use of optical aids by Renaissance artists. Falco said that his and David Hockney's examples of Renaissance art "demonstrate a continuum in the use of optics by artists from "circa" 1430, arguably initiated as a result of Ibn al-Haytham's influence, until today." [Harv|Falco|2007]
The Latin translation of his main work, "Kitab al-Manazir" ("Book of Optics"), exerted a great influence on Western science: for example, on the work of
Roger Bacon, who cites him by name, [Harv|Lindberg|1996|p=11, passim] and on Johannes Kepler. It brought about a great progress in experimental methods. His research in catoptrics(the study of optical systems using mirrors) centred on spherical and parabolic mirrors and spherical aberration. He made the observation that the ratio between the angle of incidenceand refractiondoes not remain constant, and investigated the magnifying power of a lens. His work on catoptrics also contains the problem known as "Alhazen's problem".
Meanwhile in the Islamic world, Ibn al-Haytham's work influenced
Averroes' writings on optics,Harv|Topdemir|2007a|p=77] and his legacy was further advanced through the 'reforming' of his "Optics" by Persian scientist Kamal al-Din al-Farisi(d. ca. 1320) in the latter's "Kitab Tanqih al-Manazir" ("The Revision of" [Ibn al-Haytham's] "Optics"). The correct explanations of the rainbow phenomenon given by al-Fārisī and Theodoric of Freibergin the 14th Century depended on Ibn al-Haytham's "Book of Optics". [Harv|Topdemir|2007a|p=83] The work of Ibn al-Haytham and al-Fārisī was also further advanced in the Ottoman Empireby polymath Taqi al-Dinin his "Book of the Light of the Pupil of Vision and the Light of the Truth of the Sights" (1574). [Harv|Topdemir|1999 ( cf.Harv|Topdemir|2008)]
He wrote around 200 books, although very few have survived. Even some of his treatises on optics survived only through Latin translation. During the Middle Ages his books on
cosmologywere translated into Latin, Hebrew and other languages.
The Alhazen crater on the Moon was named in his honour, as was the
asteroid" 59239 Alhazen". [cite web
title = 59239 Alhazen (1999 CR2)
url = http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=59239+Alhazen
accessdate = 2008-09-20] Ibn al-Haytham is featured on the obverse of the Iraqi 10,000 dinars banknote issued in 2003,Harv|Murphy|2003] and on 10 dinar notes from 1982. A research facility that
UN weapons inspectorssuspected of conducting chemical and biological weapons research in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was also named after him. [Harv|Burns|1999]
"Book of Optics"
Ibn al-Haytham's most famous work is his seven volume Arabic treatise on
optics, "Kitab al-Manazir" ("Book of Optics"), written from 1011 to 1021.Harv|Steffens|2006 ( cf.cite web|url=http://www.ibnalhaytham.net/custom.em?pid=571860|title=Critical Praise for "Ibn al-Haytham - First Scientist"|date=2006-12-01|accessdate=2008-01-23)] It has been ranked alongside Isaac Newton's " Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" as one of the most influential books in physics for introducing an early scientific method, and for initiating a revolution in opticsHarv|Sabra|Hogendijk|2003|pp=85–118] and visual perception.Harv|Hatfield|1996|p=500]
"Optics" was translated into Latin by an unknown scholar at the end of the 12th century or the beginning of the 13th century. [Harv|Crombie|1971|p=147, n. 2] It was printed by
Friedrich Risnerin 1572, with the title "Opticae thesaurus: Alhazeni Arabis libri septem, nuncprimum editi; Eiusdem liber De Crepusculis et nubium ascensionibus". [cite web|url=http://www.mala.bc.ca/~mcneil/cit/citlcalhazen1.htm|title=Alhazen (965-1040): Library of Congress Citations|publisher=Malaspina Great Books|accessdate=2008-01-23] Risner is also the author of the name variant "Alhazen"; before Risner he was known in the west as Alhacen, which is the correct transcription of the Arabic name. [Harv|Smith|2001|p=xxi] This work enjoyed a great reputation during the Middle Ages. Works by Ibn al-Haytham on geometric subjects were discovered in the Bibliothèque nationalein Parisin 1834 by E. A. Sedillot. Other manuscripts are preserved in the Bodleian Libraryat Oxfordand in the library of Leiden. Ibn al-Haytham's optical studies were influential in several later developments, including the telescope, which laid the foundations of telescopic astronomy, as well as of the modern camera, the microscope, and the use of optical aids in Renaissanceart.
Two major theories on vision prevailed in
classical antiquity. The first theory, the emission theory, was supported by such thinkers as Euclidand Ptolemy, who believed that sight worked by the eye emitting rays of light. The second theory, the intromission theory supported by Aristotleand his followers, had physical forms entering the eye from an object. Ibn al-Haytham argued that the process of vision occurs neither by rays emitted from the eye, nor through physical forms entering it. He reasoned that a ray could not proceed from the eyes and reach the distant stars the instant after we open our eyes. He also appealed to common observations such as the eye being dazzled or even injured if we look at a very bright light. He instead developed a highly successful theory which explained the process of vision as rays of light proceeding to the eye from each point on an object, which he proved through the use of experimentation. [Harv|Lindberg|1976|pp=60–7] His unification of geometrical opticswith philosophical physics forms the basis of modern physical optics. [Harv|Toomer|1964]
Ibn al-Haytham proved that rays of light travel in straight lines, and carried out various experiments with lenses,
mirrors, refraction, and reflection. He was also the first to reduce reflected and refracted light rays into vertical and horizontal components, which was a fundamental development in geometric optics. [Harv|Heeffer|2003] He also discovered a result similar to Snell's lawof sines, but did not quantify it and derive the law mathematically. [Harv|Sabra|1981 ( cf.Harv|Mihas|2005|p=5)]
Ibn al-Haytham also gave the first clear descriptionHarv|Kelley|Milone|Aveni|2005: quote|"The first clear description of the device appears in the "Book of Optics" of Alhazen."] and correct analysisHarv|Wade|Finger|2001: quote|"The principles of the camera obscura first began to be correctly analysed in the eleventh century, when they were outlined by Ibn al-Haytham."] of the
camera obscuraand pinhole camera. While Aristotle, Theon of Alexandria, Al-Kindi(Alkindus) and Chinese philosopher Mozihad earlier described the effects of a single light passing through a pinhole, none of them suggested that what is being projected onto the screen is an image of everything on the other side of the aperture. Ibn al-Haytham was the first to demonstrate this with his lamp experiment where several different light sources are arranged across a large area. He was thus the first to successfully project an entire image from outdoors onto a screen indoors with the camera obscura. [Harv|Steffens|2006, [http://www.ibnalhaytham.net/custom.em?pid=673906 Chapter Five] ]
In addition to physical optics, "The Book of Optics" also gave rise to the field of "physiological optics".Gul A. Russell, "Emergence of Physiological Optics", p. 689, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996] Ibn al-Haytham discussed the topics of medicine, ophthalmology,
anatomyand physiology, which included commentaries on Galenic works. [Harv|Steffens|2006 ( cf.cite web|url=http://ummahpulse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=85&Itemid=54|title=Review by Sulaiman Awan|accessdate=2008-01-23)] He described the process of sight, [Harv|Saad|Azaizeh|Said|2005|p=476] the structure of the eye, image formation in the eye, and the visual system. He also described what became known as Hering's law of equal innervation, vertical horopters, and binocular disparity,Harv|Howard|1996] and improved on the theories of binocular vision, motion perceptionand horopters previously discussed by Aristotle, Euclidand Ptolemy.Harv|Wade|1998] Harv|Howard|Wade|1996]
His most original anatomical contribution was his description of the functional anatomy of the eye as an optical system, [Gul A. Russell, "Emergence of Physiological Optics", p. 691, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996] or optical instrument. His experiments with the camera obscura provided sufficient
empiricalgrounds for him to develop his theory of corresponding point projection of light from the surface of an object to form an image on a screen. It was his comparison between the eye and the camera obscura which brought about his synthesis of anatomy and optics, which forms the basis of physiological optics. As he conceptualized the essential principles of pinhole projection from his experiments with the pinhole camera, he considered image inversion to also occur in the eye, and viewed the pupilas being similar to an aperture. [Gul A. Russell, "Emergence of Physiological Optics", p. 695-8, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996] Regarding the process of image formation, he incorrectly agreed with Avicennathat the lens was the receptive organ of sight, but correctly hinted at the retinabeing involved in the process.
Neuroscientist Rosanna Gorini notes that "according to the majority of the historians al-Haytham was the pioneer of the modern
scientific method."Harv|Gorini|2003] [Harv|Rashed|2002a|p=773] Ibn al-Haytham developed rigorous experimental methods of controlled scientific testing to verify theoretical hypotheses and substantiate inductive conjectures. Ibn al-Haytham's scientific method was very similar to the modern scientific method and consisted of the following procedures:
#Testing of hypothesis using
#Analysis of experimental
dataand formulation of conclusion
An aspect associated with Ibn al-Haytham's optical research is related to systemic and methodological reliance on experimentation ("i'tibar") and controlled testing in his scientific inquiries. Moreover, his experimental directives rested on combining classical physics ("'ilm tabi'i") with mathematics ("ta'alim"; geometry in particular) in terms of devising the rudiments of what may be designated as a hypothetico-deductive procedure in scientific research. This mathematical-physical approach to experimental science supported most of his propositions in "Kitab al-Manazir" ("The Optics"; "De aspectibus" or "Perspectivae") and grounded his theories of vision, light and colour, as well as his research in catoptrics and
dioptrics(the study of the refraction of light). His legacy was further advanced through the 'reforming' of his "Optics" by Kamal al-Din al-Farisi(d. ca. 1320) in the latter's "Kitab Tanqih al-Manazir" ("The Revision of" [Ibn al-Haytham's] "Optics").Harv|El-Bizri|2005a
The concept of
Occam's razoris also present in the "Book of Optics". For example, after demonstrating that light is generated by luminous objects and emitted or reflected into the eyes, he states that therefore "the extramission of [visual] rays is superflous and useless." [Harv|Smith|2001|pp=372 & 408]
His work on
catoptricsin Book V of the Book of Optics contains a discussion of what is now known as Alhazen's problem, first formulated by Ptolemyin 150 AD. It comprises drawing lines from two points in the plane of a circle meeting at a point on the circumferenceand making equal angles with the normal at that point. This is equivalent to finding the point on the edge of a circular billiard tableat which a cue ball at a given point must be aimed in order to canon off the edge of the table and hit another ball at a second given point. Thus, its main application in optics is to solve the problem, "Given a light source and a spherical mirror, find the point on the mirror weresic the light will be reflected to the eye of an observer." This leads to an equation of the fourth degree. [Harv|Weisstein] This eventually led Ibn al-Haytham to derive the earliest formula for the sum of fourth powers; by using an early proof by mathematical induction, he developed a method that can be readily generalized to find the formula for the sum of any integral powers. He applied his result of sums on integral powers to find the volume of a paraboloidthrough integration. He was thus able to find the integrals for polynomials up to the fourth degree, and came close to finding a general formula for the integrals of any polynomials. This was fundamental to the development of infinitesimaland integral calculus.Harv|Katz|1995|pp=165-9 & 173-4] Ibn al-Haytham eventually solved the problem using conic sections and a geometric proof, though many after him attempted to find an algebraic solution to the problem, which was finally found in 1997 by the Oxford mathematician Peter M. Neumann. [Harv|Highfield|1997]
Chapters 15–16 of the "Book of Optics" covered astronomy. Ibn al-Haytham was the first to discover that the
celestial spheresdo not consist of solidmatter. He also discovered that the heavens are less dense than the air. These views were later repeated by Witeloand had a significant influence on the Copernican and Tychonic systems of astronomy. [Harv|Rosen|1985|pp=19–21]
In philosophy, Ibn al-Haytham is considered a pioneer of phenomenology. He articulated a relationship between the physical and observable world and that of
intuition, psychologyand mental functions. His theories regarding knowledgeand perception, linking the domains of science and religion, led to a philosophy of existencebased on the direct observation of realityfrom the observer's point of view. [Harv|Dr. Gonzalez|2002]
Islamic psychology, Ibn al-Haytham is considered the founder of experimental psychologyby A. I. Sabra, for his pioneering work on the psychology of visual perception and optical illusions. In the " Book of Optics", Ibn al-Haytham was the first scientist to argue that vision occurs in the brain, rather than the eyes. He pointed out that personal experience has an effect on what people see and how they see, and that vision and perception are subjective.
He came up with a theory to explain the
Moon illusion, which played an important role in the scientific tradition of medieval Europe. It was an attempt to the solve the problem of the Moon appearing larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky. Arguing against Ptolemy's refraction theory, he redefined the problem in terms of perceived, rather than real, enlargement. He said that judging the distance of an object depends on there being an uninterrupted sequence of intervening bodies between the object and the observer. With the Moon however, there are no intervening objects. Therefore, since the size of an object depends on its observed distance, which is in this case inaccurate, the Moon appears larger on the horizon. Through works by Roger Bacon, John Pechamand Witelobased on Ibn al-Haytham's explanation, the Moon illusion gradually came to be accepted as a psychological phenomenon, with Ptolemy's theory being rejected in the 17th century. [Harv|Hershenson|1989| pp=9–10]
Omar Khaleefa has argued that Ibn al-Haytham should also be considered the founder of
psychophysics, a subdiscipline and precursor to modern psychology. Although Ibn al-Haytham made many subjective reports regarding vision, there is no evidence that he used quantitative psychophysical techniques and the claim has been rebuffed.Harv|Aaen-Stockdale|2008]
Other works on physics
Besides the "Book of Optics", Ibn al-Haytham wrote several other treatises on
optics. His "Risala fi l-Daw’" ("Treatise on Light") is a supplement to his "Kitab al-Manazir" ("Book of Optics"). The text contained further investigations on the properties of luminanceand its radiant dispersion through various transparent and translucent media. He also carried out further examinations into anatomy of the eyeand illusions in visual perception. He analyzed the camera obscuraand pinhole camera, and investigated the meteorologyof the rainbowand the densityof the atmosphere. Various celestialphenomena (including the eclipse, twilight, and moonlight) were also examined by him. He also made investigations into refraction, catoptrics, dioptrics, spherical and parabolic mirrors, and magnifying lenses.
In his treatise, "Mizan al-Hikmah" ("Balance of Wisdom"), Ibn al-Haytham discussed the
densityof the atmosphere and related it to altitude. He also studied atmospheric refraction. He discovered that the twilightonly ceases or begins when the Sun is 19° below the horizon and attempted to measure the height of the atmosphere on that basis.Harv|Dr. Al Deek|2004]
astrophysicsand the celestial mechanicsfield of physics, Ibn al-Haytham, in his "Epitome of Astronomy", discovered that the heavenly bodies "were accountable to the laws of physics". [Harv|Duhem|1969|p=28] Ibn al-Haytham's "Mizan al-Hikmah" ("Balance of Wisdom") covered statics, astrophysics, and celestial mechanics. He discussed the theory of attraction between masses, and it seems that he was also aware of the magnitude of accelerationdue to gravity at a distance. His "Maqala fi'l-qarastun" is a treatise on centres of gravity. Little is known about the work, except for what is known through the later works of al-Khaziniin the 12th century. In this treatise, Ibn al-Haytham formulated the theory that the heaviness of bodies varies with their distance from the centre of the Earth. [Harv|Professor Abattouy|2002]
Another treatise, "Maqala fi daw al-qamar" ("On the Light of the Moon"), which he wrote some time before his famous "
Book of Optics", was the first successful attempt at combining mathematical astronomy with physics, and the earliest attempt at applying the experimental method to astronomy and astrophysics. He disproved the universally held opinion that the Moonreflects sunlightlike a mirrorand correctly concluded that it "emits light from those portions of its surface which the sun's light strikes." To prove that "light is emitted from every point of the Moon's illuminated surface," he built an "ingenious experimental device." According to Matthias Schramm, Ibn al-Haytham had
formulated a clear conception of the relationship between an ideal mathematical model and the complex of observable phenomena; in particular, he was the first to make a systematic use of the method of varying the experimental conditions in a constant and uniform manner, in an experiment showing that the intensity of the light-spot formed by the projection of the moonlight through two small
aperturesonto a screen diminishes constantly as one of the apertures is gradually blocked up.Harv|Toomer|1964|pp=463–4]
dynamicsand kinematicsfields of mechanics, Ibn al-Haytham's "Risala fi’l-makan" ("Treatise on Place") discussed theories on the motion of a body. He maintained that a body moves perpetually unless an external force stops it or changes its direction of motion. This was similar to the concept of inertia, but was largely a hypotheses that was not verified by experimentation. The key breakthrough in classical mechanics, the introduction of frictional force, was eventually made centuries later by Galileo Galilei, and then formulated as Newton's first law of motion.
Also in his "Treatise on Place", Ibn al-Haytham disagreed with
Aristotle's view that nature abhors a void, and he thus used geometryto demonstrate that place ("al-makan") is the imagined three-dimensional void between the inner surfaces of a containing body.
Ibn al-Haytham also discovered the concept of
momentum(now part of Newton's second law of motion) around the same time as his contemporary, Avicenna(Ibn Sina).Harv|Nasr|2003]
"Doubts Concerning Ptolemy"
In his "Al-Shukūk ‛alā Batlamyūs", variously translated as "Doubts Concerning Ptolemy" or "Aporias against Ptolemy", published at some time between 1025 and 1028, Ibn al-Haytham criticized many of
Ptolemy's works, including the " Almagest", "Planetary Hypotheses", and "Optics", pointing out various contradictions he found in these works. He considered that some of the mathematical devices Ptolemy introduced into astronomy, especially the equant, failed to satisfy the physical requirement of uniform circular motion, and wrote a scathing critique of the physical reality of Ptolemy's astronomical system, noting the absurdity of relating actual physical motions to imaginary mathematical points, lines and circles: [Harv|Langerman|1990|pp=8–10]
Ibn al-Haytham further criticized Ptolemy's model on other
empirical, observational and experimental grounds, [Harv|Sabra|1998|p=300] such as Ptolemy's use of conjecturalundemonstrated theories in order to "save appearances" of certain phenomena, which Ibn al-Haytham did not approve of due to his insistence on scientific demonstration. Unlike some later astronomers who criticized the Ptolemaic model on the grounds of being incompatible with Aristotelian natural philosophy, Ibn al-Haytham was mainly concerned with empirical observation and the internal contradictions in Ptolemy's works. [Harv|Pines|1986|pp=438–9]
In his "Aporias against Ptolemy", Ibn al-Haytham commented on the difficulty of attaining scientific knowledge:
He held that the criticism of existing theories—which dominated this book—holds a special place in the growth of scientific knowledge:
"On the Configuration of the World"
In his "On the Configuration of the World", despite his criticisms directed towards Ptolemy, Ibn al-Haytham continued to accept the physical reality of the
geocentric modelof the universe, [Some writers, however, argue that Alhazen's critique constituted a form of heliocentricity (see Harv|Qadir|1989|p=5–6 & 10).] presenting a detailed description of the physical structure of the celestial spheresin his "On the Configuration of the World":
While he attempted to discover the physical reality behind Ptolemy's mathematical model, he developed the concept of a single orb ("falak") for each component of Ptolemy's planetary motions. This work was eventually translated into
Hebrewand Latinin the 13th and 14th centuries and subsequently had an influence on astronomers such as Georg von Peuerbachduring the European Middle Agesand Renaissance. [Harv|Langerman|1990|pp=34–41] [Harv|Gondhalekar|2001|p=21]
"Model of the Motions of Each of the Seven Planets"
Ibn al-Haytham's "The Model of the Motions of Each of the Seven Planets", written in 1038, was a book on astronomy. The surviving manuscript of this work has only recently been discovered, with much of it still missing, hence the work has not yet been published in modern times. Following on from his "Doubts on Ptolemy" and "The Resolution of Doubts", Ibn al-Haytham described the first non-Ptolemaic model in "The Model of the Motions". His reform was not concerned with
cosmology, as he developed a systematic study of celestial kinematicsthat was completely geometric. This in turn led to innovative developments in infinitesimal geometry. [Harv|Rashed|2007]
empiricalmodel was the first to reject the equant[Harv|Rashed|2007|p=20 & 53] and eccentrics, [Harv|Rashed|2007|pp=33–4] separate natural philosophyfrom astronomy, free celestial kinematics from cosmology, and reduce physical entities to geometric entities. The model also propounded the Earth's rotationabout its axis, [Harv|Rashed|2007|pp=20 & 32–33] and the centres of motion were geometric points without any physical significance, like Johannes Kepler's model centuries later. [Harv|Rashed|2007|pp=51–2]
In the text, Ibn al-Haytham also describes an early version of
Occam's razor, where he employs only minimal hypotheses regarding the properties that characterize astronomical motions, as he attempts to eliminate from his planetary model the cosmological hypotheses that cannot be observed from the Earth. [Harv|Rashed|2007|pp=35–6]
Other astronomical works
Ibn al-Haytham distinguished astrology from astronomy, and he refuted the study of
astrology, due to the methods used by astrologers being conjecturalrather than empirical, and also due to the views of astrologers conflicting with that of orthodox Islam. [Harv|Saliba|1994|pp=60 & 67–69]
Ibn al-Haytham also wrote a treatise entitled "On the Milky Way", in which he solved problems regarding the
Milky Way galaxyand parallax. [Harv|Rashed|2007] In antiquity, Aristotlebelieved the Milky Way to be caused by "the ignition of the fiery exhalation of some stars which were large, numerous and close together" and that the "ignition takes place in the upper part of the atmosphere, in the region of the world which is continuous with the heavenly motions." [Harv|Montada|2007] Ibn al-Haytham refuted this and "determined that because the Milky Way had no parallax, it was very remote from the earthand did not belong to the atmosphere." [Harv|Bouali|Zghal|Lakhdar|2005] He wrote that if the Milky Way was located around the Earth's atmosphere, "one must find a difference in position relative to the fixed stars." He described two methods to determine the Milky Way's parallax: "either when one observes the Milky Way on two different occasions from the same spot of the earth; or when one looks at it simultaneously from two distant places from the surface of the earth." He made the first attempt at observing and measuring the Milky Way's parallax, and determined that since the Milky Way had no parallax, then it does not belong to the atmosphere. [Harv|Mohamed|2000|pp=49-50]
In 1858, Muhammad Wali ibn Muhammad Ja'far, in his "Shigarf-nama", claimed that Ibn al-Haytham wrote a treatise "Maratib al-sama" in which he conceived of a planetary model similar to the
Tychonic systemwhere the planets orbit the Sun which in turn orbits the Earth. However, the "verification of this claim seems to be impossible," since the treatise is not listed among the known bibliographyof Ibn al-Haytham. [Harv|Arjomand|1997|pp=5–24]
In mathematics, Ibn al-Haytham built on the mathematical works of
Euclidand Thabit ibn Qurra. He systemized conic sections and number theory, carried out some early work on analytic geometry, and worked on "the beginnings of the link between algebraand geometry." This in turn had an influence on the development of René Descartes's geometric analysisand Isaac Newton's calculus.
geometry, Ibn al-Haytham developed analytical geometryand established a link between algebraand geometry. Ibn al-Haytham also discovered a formula for adding the first 100 natural numbers (which may later have been intuited by Carl Friedrich Gaussas a youth). Ibn al-Haytham used a geometric proof to prove the formula. [Harv|Rottman|2000, Chapter 1]
Ibn al-Haytham made the first attempt at proving the Euclidean
parallel postulate, the fifth postulate in Euclid's "Elements", using a proof by contradiction, [Harv|Eder|2000] where he introduced the concept of motion and transformation into geometry. [Harv|Katz|1998|p=269: quote|In effect, this method characterized parallel lines as lines always equidisant from one another and also introduced the concept of motion into geometry.] He formulated the Lambert quadrilateral, which Boris Abramovich Rozenfeld names the "Ibn al-Haytham–Lambert quadrilateral",Harv|Rozenfeld|1988|p=65] and his attempted proof also shows similarities to Playfair's axiom. His theorems on quadrilaterals, including the Lambert quadrilateral, were the first theorems on elliptical geometryand hyperbolic geometry. These theorems, along with his alternative postulates, such as Playfair's axiom, can be seen as marking the beginning of non-Euclidean geometry. His work had a considerable influence on its development among the later Persian geometers Omar Khayyámand Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī, and the European geometers Witelo, Gersonides, Alfonso, John Wallis, Giovanni Girolamo SaccheriHarv|Rozenfeld|Youschkevitch|1996|p=470: quote|Three scientists, Ibn al-Haytham, Khayyam and al-Tusi, had made the most considerable contribution to this branch of geometry whose importance came to be completely recognized only in the nineteenth century. In essence their propositions concerning the properties of quadrangles which they considered assuming that some of the angles of these figures were acute of obtuse, embodied the first few theorems of the hyperbolic and the elliptic geometries. Their other proposals showed that various geometric statements were equivalent to the Euclidean postulate V. It is extremely important that these scholars established the mutual connection between tthis postulate and the sum of the angles of a triangle and a quadrangle. By their works on the theory of parallel lines Arab mathematicians directly influenced the relevant investigations of their European counterparts. The first European attempt to prove the postulate on parallel lines - made by Witelo, the Polish scientists of the thirteenth century, while revising Ibn al-Haytham's "Book of Optics" ("Kitab al-Manazir") - was undoubtedly prompted by Arabic sources. The proofs put forward in the fourteenth century by the Jewish scholar Gersonides, who lived in southern France, and by the above-mentioned Alfonso from Spain directly border on Ibn al-Haytham's demonstration. Above, we have demonstrated that "Pseudo-Tusi's Exposition of Euclid" had stimulated borth J. Wallis's and G. Saccheri's studies of the theory of parallel lines.] and Christopher Clavius. [Harv|Rozenfeld|Youschkevitch|1996|p=93]
In elementary geometry, Ibn al-Haytham attempted to solve the problem of
squaring the circleusing the area of lunes (crescent shapes), but later gave up on the impossible task. Ibn al-Haytham also tackled other problems in elementary (Euclidean) and advanced (Apollonian and Archimedean) geometry, some of which he was the first to solve.
His contributions to
number theoryincludes his work on perfect numbers. In his "Analysis and Synthesis", Ibn al-Haytham was the first to realize that every even perfect number is of the form 2"n"−1(2"n" − 1) where 2"n" − 1 is prime, but he was not able to prove this result successfully (Euler later proved it in the 18th century).
Ibn al-Haytham solved problems involving congruences using what is now called
Wilson's theorem. In his "Opuscula", Ibn al-Haytham considers the solution of a system of congruences, and gives two general methods of solution. His first method, the canonical method, involved Wilson's theorem, while his second method involved a version of the Chinese remainder theorem.
"Influence of Melodies on the Souls of Animals"
In psychology and
musicology, Ibn al-Haytham's "Treatise on the Influence of Melodies on the Souls of Animals" was the earliest treatise dealing with the effects of music on animals. In the treatise, he demonstrates how a camel's pace could be hastened or retarded with the use of music, and shows other examples of how music can affect animal behaviourand animal psychology, experimenting with horses, birds and reptiles. Through to the 19th century, a majority of scholars in the Western world continued to believe that music was a distinctly human phenomenon, but experiments since then have vindicated Ibn al-Haytham's view that music does indeed have an effect on animals.Harv|Plott|2000|p=461]
In engineering, one account of his career as a
civil engineerhas him summoned to Egypt by the Fatimid Caliph, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, to regulate the floodingof the NileRiver. He carried out a detailed scientific study of the annual inundationof the Nile River, and he drew plans for building a dam, at the site of the modern-day Aswan Dam. His field work, however, later made him aware of the impracticality of this scheme, and he soon feigned madnessso he could avoid punishment from the Caliph. [Harv|Plott|2000, Pt. II, p. 459]
Al-Khazini, Ibn al-Haytham also wrote a treatise providing a description on the constructionof a water clock. [Harv|Hassan|2007]
early Islamic philosophy, Ibn al-Haytham's "Risala fi’l-makan" ("Treatise on Place") presents a critique of Aristotle's concept of place( topos). Aristotle's "Physics" stated that the place of something is the two-dimensional boundary of the containing body that is at rest and is in contact with what it contains. Ibn al-Haytham disagreed and demonstrated that place (al-makan) is the imagined three-dimensional void between the inner surfaces of the containing body. He showed that place was akin to space, foreshadowing René Descartes's concept of place in the "Extensio" in the 17th century. Following on from his "Treatise on Place", Ibn al-Haytham's "Qawl fi al-Makan" ("Discourse on Place") was a treatise which presents geometric demonstrations for his geometrization of place, in opposition to Aristotle's philosophical concept of place, which Ibn al-Haytham rejected on mathematical grounds. Abd-el-latif, a supporter of Aristotle's philosophical view of place, later criticized the work in "Fi al-Radd ‘ala Ibn al-Haytham fi al-makan" ("A refutation of Ibn al-Haytham’s place") for its geometrization of place.Harv|El-Bizri|2007]
Ibn al-Haytham also discussed space perception and its epistemological implications in his "
Book of Optics". His experimental proof of the intromission model of vision led to changes in the way the visual perceptionof space was understood, contrary to the previous emission theory of vision supported by Euclidand Ptolemy. In "tying the visual perception of space to prior bodily experience, Alhacen unequivocally rejected theintuitiveness of spatial perception and, therefore, the autonomy of vision. Without tangible notions of distance and size forcorrelation, sight can tell us next to nothing about such things." [Harv|Smith|2005|pp=219–40]
Ibn al-Haytham was a devout
Muslim, who was a follower of Shi'ite Islamic theology [Harv|Sabra|1978a|p=54] .
Ibn al-Haytham wrote a work on Islamic theology, in which he discussed
prophethood and developed a system of philosophical criteria to discern its false claimants in his time. [Harv|Plott|2000, Pt. II, p. 464] He also wrote a treatise entitled "Finding the Direction of Qibla by Calculation", in which he discussed finding the Qibla, where Salahprayers are directed towards, mathematically.
Ibn al-Haytham attributed his
experimental scientific methodand scientific skepticismto his Islamic faith. The Islamic holy book the Qur'an, for example, placed a strong emphasis on empiricism. [Harv|Qadir|1990|pp=24-5: quote|"Muslims are inspired in the first instance by the numerous verses of the Quran which invite believers to observe nature and reflect over it." ( cf.Harv|Bettany|1995|p=247)] [cite quran|17|36|quote=You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.] [cite quran|2|164|quote=Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the benefit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth – (Here) indeed are signs for a people that are wise.] He also believed that humanbeings are inherently flawed and that only Godis perfect. He reasoned that to discover the truthabout nature, it is necessary to eliminate human opinionand error, and allow the universeto speak for itself. He wrote in his "Doubts Concerning Ptolemy":
In "The Winding Motion", Ibn al-Haytham further wrote that
faith(or " taqlid" "imitation") should only apply to prophets of Islamand not to any other authorities, in the following comparison between the Islamic prophetic tradition and the demonstrative sciences:
Ibn al-Haytham described his search for truth and
knowledgeas a way of leading him closer to God:
Ibn al-Haytham was a pioneer in many areas of science, making significant contributions in varying disciplines. His optical writings influenced many Western intellectuals such as
Roger Bacon, John Pecham, Witelo, Johannes Kepler. [Harv|Lindberg|1967] His pioneering work on number theory, analytic geometry, and the link between algebraand geometry, also had an influence on René Descartes's geometric analysisand Isaac Newton's calculus.Harv|Faruqi|2006|pp=395–6:quote|In seventeenth century Europe the problems formulated by Ibn al-Haytham (965–1041) became known as 'Alhazen's problem'. […] Al-Haytham’s contributions to geometry and number theory went well beyond the Archimedean tradition. Al-Haytham also worked on analytical geometry and the beginnings of the link between algebra and geometry. Subsequently, this work led in pure mathematics to the harmonious fusion of algebra and geometry that was epitomised by Descartes in geometric analysis and by Newton in the calculus. Al-Haytham was a scientist who made major contributions to the fields of mathematics, physics and astronomy during the latter half of the tenth century.]
According to medieval biographers, Ibn al-Haytham wrote more than 200 works on a wide range of subjects,Harv|Steffens|2006 (
cf.Citation|first=Bradley|last=Steffens|title=Who Was the First Scientist?|publisher=Ezine Articles)] of which at least 96 of his scientific works are known. Most of his works are now lost, but more than 50 of them have survived to some extent. Nearly half of his surviving works are on mathematics, 23 of them are on astronomy, and 14 of them are on optics, with a few on other subjects.Harv|Rashed|2002a|p=773] Not all his surviving works have yet been studied, but some of the ones that have are given below.Harv|Topdemir|2007b] [Harv|Rashed|2007|pp=8-9]
Book of Optics"
*"Analysis and Synthesis"
*"Balance of Wisdom"
*"Corrections to the Almagest"
*"Discourse on Place"
*"Exact Determination of the Pole"
*"Exact Determination of the Meridian"
*"Finding the Direction of Qibla by Calculation"
*"Doubts Concerning Ptolemy"
*"On Completion of the Conics"
*"On Seeing the Stars"
*"On Squaring the Circle"
*"On the Burning Sphere"
*"On the Configuration of the World"
*"On the Form of Eclipse"
*"On the Light of Stars"
*"On the Light of the Moon"
*"On the Milky Way"
*"On the Nature of Shadows"
*"On the Rainbow and Halo"
*"Resolution of Doubts Concerning the Almagest"
*"Resolution of Doubts Concerning the Winding Motion"
*"The Correction of the Operations in Astronomy"
*"The Different Heights of the Planets"
*"The Direction of Mecca"
*"The Model of the Motions of Each of the Seven Planets"
*"The Model of the Universe"
*"The Motion of the Moon"
*"The Ratios of Hourly Arcs to their Heights"
*"The Winding Motion"
*"Treatise on Light"
*"Treatise on Place"
*"Treatise on the Influence of Melodies on the Souls of Animals"
title=Ibn al-Haytham and psychophysics
title=The Arabic Science of weights: A Report on an Ongoing Research Project
journal=The Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies
title=Biographical Dictionary of Scientists
publisher=Frederick Muller Ltd
title=Essay Two: Arabic Studies in Physics and Astronomy During 800–1400 AD
University of Jyväskylä
title=The emergence of scientific modernity in Iran: controversies surrounding astrology and modern astronomy in the mid-nineteenth century
title=Ibn al-Haytham: an answer to multicultural science teaching?
title=A Philosophical Perspective on Alhazen’s "Optics"
journal=Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Cambridge University Press
title=Medieval Science, Technology, and Medicine: An Encyclopedia
New York& London
oclc=218847614 58829023 61228669
contribution=Ibn al-Haytham or Alhazen
title=Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopaedia
New York& London
title=In Defence of the Sovereignty of Philosophy: Al-Baghdadi's Critique of Ibn al-Haytham's Geometrisation of Place
journal=Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Cambridge University Press
title=Popularisation of Optical Phenomena: Establishing the First Ibn Al-Haytham Workshop on Photography
publisher=The Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
title=The Making of Humanity
publisher=G. Allen & Unwin Ltd.
last = Burns
first = Robert
title = Some fear Iraq may be rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction
url = http://www.cjonline.com/stories/080899/new_iraqweapons.shtml
date = 1999-08-08
accessdate = 2008-09-21
title=History of Islamic Philosophy, Translated by Liadain Sherrard, Philip Sherrard
publisher=Kegan Paul International in association with Islamic Publications for The Institute of Ismaili Studies
date=1993; original French 1964
oclc=22109949 221646817 22181827 225287258
title=Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science, 1100–1700
Clarendon Press, Oxford University
last=Dr. Al Deek
title=Ibn Al-Haitham: Master of Optics, Mathematics, Physics and Medicine
title=Science and Human Destiny
title=To Save the Phenomena: An Essay on the Idea of Physical theory from Plato to Galileo
University of Chicago Press, Chicago
title=Views of Euclid's Parallel Postulate in Ancient Greece and in Medieval Islam
author-link=Charles M. Falco
title=Ibn al-Haytham and the Origins of Modern Image Analysis
publisher=presented at a plenary session at the International Conference on Information Sciences, Signal Processing and its Applications
date=12–15 February 2007
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates(U.A.E.)
title=Contributions of Islamic scholars to the scientific enterprise
journal=International Education Journal
title=The Grip of Gravity: The Quest to Understand the Laws of Motion and Gravitation
Cambridge University Press
title=Universality and Modernity
journal=The Ismaili United Kingdom
title=Al-Haytham the man of experience. First steps in the science of vision
journal=Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine
volume=2 |issue=4 |pages=53–55 |date=October 2003
url=http://www.ishim.net/ishimj/4/10.pdf |format=pdf |accessdate=2008-09-25
Encarta" Online Encyclopedia
title=Review: Hakim Mohammed Said, "Ibn al-Haitham"
author-link=Ahmad Y Hassan
title=Al-Jazari And the History of the Water Clock
contribution=Was the Scientific Revolution Really a Revolution in Science?
title=Tradition, Transmission, Transformation: Proceedings of Two Conferences on Pre-modern Science held at the University of Oklahoma
oclc=19740432 234073624 234096934
date=September 14-15, 2003
contribution=Kepler’s near discovery of the sine law: A qualitative computational model
title=Third International workshop: Computer models of scientific reasoning and applications
National Library of the Argentine Republic
title=The Moon Illusion
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
date=1 April 1997
title=Don solves the last puzzle left by ancient Greeks
The Daily Telegraph
title=Theology And Modern Physics
id=DDC: 201.653, LCC: BL265.P4 H63 2005
title=Alhazen's neglected discoveries of visual phenomena
title=Ptolemy's contributions to the geometry of binocular vision
title=Ideas of Calculus in Islam and India
title=History of Mathematics: An Introduction
title=Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy
oclc=213887290 228400109 46937593 84115642
title=Who Is the Founder of Psychophysics and Experimental Psychology?
journal=American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
title=Ibn al Haytham's On the Configuration of the World
title=Alhazen's Theory of Vision and Its Reception in the West
title=Theories of Vision from al-Kindi to Kepler
University of Chicago Press, Chicago
title=Roger Bacon and the Origins of Perspectiva in the Middle Ages"
title=Scientific Method, Statistical Method and the Speed of Light
title=Alhazen and the Telescope
journal=Astronomical Society of the Pacific Leaflets
date=July 15-18, 2005
contribution=Use of History in Developing ideas of refraction, lenses and rainbow
title=Eighth International History, Philosophy, Sociology & Science Teaching Conference
University of Leeds
title=Great Muslim Mathematicians
date=September 28, 2007
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science
oclc=34731151 38122983 61834045 61987871
title=No more 'Saddams': Iraqis get new currency
The Christian Science Monitor
title=The achievements of Ibn Sina in the field of science and his contributions to its philosophy
journal=Islam & Science
title=Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham
title=Light through the ages: Ancient Greece to Maxwell
title=Ibn al-Haytham's Optics: A Study of the Origins of Experimental Science
Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica
title=Studies in Arabic Versions of Greek Texts and in Mediaeval Science
oclc=14217211 165468475 46823952 60041227
title=Global History of Philosophy: The Period of Scholasticism
ISBN status=May be invalid - please double check
date=April 18, 1999
contribution=Best Idea; Eyes Wide Open
New York Times
title=Relativity: An Introduction to the Special Theory
publisher=World Scientific Publishing Co.,
title=Philosophy and Science in the lslamic World
title=A Polymath in the 10th century
title=PORTRAITS OF SCIENCE: A Polymath in the 10th Century
title=The Celestial Kinematics of Ibn al-Haytham
journal=Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Cambridge University Press
title=The Dissolution of the Solid Celestial Spheres
journal=Journal of the History of Ideas
title=A first course in Abstract Algebra
date=February 28, 2000
title=A History of Non-Euclidean Geometry: Evolution of the Concept of a Geometric Space
Springer Science+Business Media
oclc=15550634 230166667 230980046 77693662
Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science
London& New York
title=Tradition and Perspectives of Arab Herbal Medicine: A Review
journal=Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Oxford University Press
*Citation |last=Sabra |first=A. I. |author-link=A. I. Sabra |year=1971 |title=The astronomical origin of Ibn al-Haytham’s concept of experiment |journal=Actes du XIIe congrès international d’histoire des sciences |volume=3 |pages=133–136 |publisher=Albert Blanchard,
Paris. Reprinted in Citation |last=Sabra |first=A. I. |author-link=A. I. Sabra |year=1994 |title=Optics, Astronomy and Logic: Studies in Arabic Science and Philosophy |series=Collected Studies Series |volume=444 |publisher=Variorum, Aldershot |isbn=0-86078-435-5 |oclc=29847104 30739740.
author-link=A. I. Sabra
contribution=Ibn al-Haytham and the Visual Ray Hypothesis
title=Ismaili Contributions to Islamic Culture
ISBN status=May be invalid - please double check
author-link=A. I. Sabra
contribution=An Eleventh-Century Refutation of Ptolemy's Planetary Theory
title=Science and History: Studies in Honor of Edward Rosen
author-link=A. I. Sabra
title=Theories of Light from Descartes to Newton
Cambridge University Press
author-link=A. I. Sabra
title=Configuring the Universe: Aporetic, Problem Solving, and Kinematic Modeling as Themes of Arabic Astronomy
journal=Perspectives on Science
author-link=A. I. Sabra
contribution=Ibn al-Haytham: Brief life of an Arab mathematician
author1-link=A. I. Sabra
title=The Enterprise of Science in Islam: New Perspectives
*Citation |last=Salam |first=Abdus |author-link=Abdus Salam |year=1984 |contribution=Islam and Science, in Citation |editor-first=C. H. |editor-last=Lai |year=1987 |title=Ideals and Realities: Selected Essays of Abdus Salam |edition=2nd |publisher=World Scientific,
title=A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam
New York University Press
title=The Miracle of Light
journal=A World of Science
title=The Journal of Science, and Annals of Astronomy, Biology, Geology
contribution=Science in Islamic philosophy
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
title=Introduction To The History of Science, Volume I: From Homer To Omar Khayyam
Carnegie Institution for Science
last = Van Sertima
first = Ivan
author-link = Ivan Van Sertima
title = Golden Age Of The Moor
date = 1992
url = http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1F9HPuDkySsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA382&dq=%22house+of+wisdom%22+ibn+al-hazen&ots=kKgv_RSf8E&sig=-giCeXul7QJ8I5-CMdCeTa4a1vs
isbn = 1560005815
year = 2004
oclc = 123168739 25416243 29837541 44748929 50901951 56571741 57559516
American Philosophical Society& DIANE Publishing
title=Alhacen's theory of visual perception: a critical edition, with English translation and commentary, of the first three books of Alhacen's De aspectibus, the medieval Latin version of Ibn al-Haytham's Kitab al-Manazir
oclc=163278528 163278565 185537919 47168716
title=The Alhacenian Account Of Spatial Perception And Its Epistemological Implications
journal=Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Cambridge University Press
title=The Remarkable Ibn al-Haytham
journal=The Mathematical Gazette
title=Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist
title=In Memoriam: Matthias Schramm
journal=Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Cambridge University Press
title=Review: "Ibn al-Haythams Weg zur Physik" by Matthias Schramm
title=Takîyüddîn'in Optik Kitabi
publisher=Ministry of Culture Press
title=Kamal Al-Din Al-Farisi’s Explanation of the Rainbow
journal=Humanity & Social Sciences Journal
date=July 18, 2007
title=Ibn al-Haytham (965-1039) His Life and Works
date=30 June 2008
title=Taqi al-Din ibn Ma‘ruf and the Science of Optics: The Nature of Light and the Mechanism of Vision
title=Al-Hazen: father of modern optics
contribution=Ibn al- Hayt̲h̲am , Abū ʿalī al-Ḥasan b. al-Ḥasan (or Ḥusayn) b. al-Hayt̲h̲am al-Baṣrī al-Miṣrī
Encyclopaedia of Islam
date=4 April 2008
title=A Natural History of Vision
title=The eye as an optical instrument: from camera obscura to Helmholtz's perspective
last = Weisstein
first = Eric
title = Alhazen's Billiard Problem
url = http://mathworld.wolfram.com/AlhazensBilliardProblem.html
accessdate = 2008-09-24
last = Whitaker
first = Brian
author-link = Brian Whitaker
title = Centuries in the House of Wisdom
year = 2004
date = 2004-09-23
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2004/sep/23/research.highereducation1
accessdate = 2008-09-16
title=Quotations from Famous Historians of Science
first=A. I., ed.
author-link=A. I. Sabra
title=The Optics of Ibn al-Haytham, Books I-II-III: On Direct Vision. The Arabic text, edited and with Introduction, Arabic-Latin Glossaries and Concordance Tables
Kuwait: National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters
first=A. I., ed.
author-link=A. I. Sabra
title=The Optics of Ibn al-Haytham. Edition of the Arabic Text of Books IV-V: On Reflection and Images Seen by Reflection. 2 vols
Kuwait: The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters
first=A. I., trans.
author-link=A. I. Sabra
title=The Optics of Ibn al-Haytham. Books I-II-III: On Direct Vision. English Translation and Commentary. 2 vols
series=Studies of the Warburg Institute, vol. 40
Warburg Institute, University of London
oclc=165564751 165564771 180528350 180528355 180528359 21530166 230045836 24910015 59836570
first=A. Mark, ed. and trans.
title=Alhacen on the Principles of Reflection: A Critical Edition, with English Translation and Commentary, of Books 4 and 5 of Alhacen's "De Aspectibus", the Medieval Latin version of Ibn-al-Haytham's "Kitāb al-Manāzir", 2 vols
journal=Transactions of the
American Philosophical Society
publisher=American Philosophical Soc.
oclc=123464885 185359947 185359957 219328717 219328739 47168716 70078653
title=Ibn al-Haytham and Greek optics: a comparative study in scientific methodology
University of Chicago, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
* [http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jbourj/money4.htm Ibn al-Haytham on two Iraqi banknotes]
* [http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001412/141236E.pdf The Miracle of Light – a UNESCO article on Ibn al-Haytham]
* [http://www.malaspina.org/alhazen.htm Biography from Malaspina Global Portal]
* [http://www.amaana.org/ISWEB/contents.htm#pos9 Short biographies on several "Muslim Heroes and Personalities" including Ibn al-Haytham]
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1997/04/01/ngre01.html Report by the Telegraph of a modern day solution of Alhazen's problem]
* [http://www.unhas.ac.id/~rhiza/arsip/saintis/haitham.html Biography by Dr. A. Zahoor]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/19991013041615/http://www.ionet.net/~usarch/WTB-Services/MiddleEast/WTB-ME-Thinkers-IbnAlHaitham.shtml Biography from ioNET via the Wayback Machine]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20060211032459/http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alhazen.shtml Biography from the BBC via the Wayback Machine]
* [http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/phil/philo/phils/muslim/alhazen.html Biography from Trinity College (Connecticut)]
* [http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/timeline/people/alhazen.html Biography from Molecular Expressions]
NAME = al-Haytham, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Alhacen; Alhazen; al-Basri
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Scientist
DATE OF BIRTH = 965
PLACE OF BIRTH =
Basra, Persian Empire
DATE OF DEATH = c. 1040
PLACE OF DEATH =
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