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#Alhazen or Ibn al-Haytham - the father of #Optics and scientific method in #NationalGeographic Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey- PLEASE SHARE!
#NG #Cosmos #Islam #Astronomy #Science #IslamicScience #Muslims

Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham (Arabic: أبو علي، الحسن بن الحسن بن الهيثم), frequently referred to as Ibn al-Haytham (Arabic: ابن الهيثم, Latinized as Alhazen or Alhacen; c. 965 – c. 1040), was an Muslim, polymath and philosopher who made significant contributions to the principles of optics, astronomy, mathematics, meteorology, visual perception and the scientific method.

In medieval Europe, he was honored as Ptolemaeus Secundus ("Ptolemy the Second") or simply called "The Physicist". He is also sometimes called al-Basri (Arabic: البصري) after Basra, his birthplace. He spent most of his life close to the court of the Fatimid Caliphate in Cairo and earned his living authoring various treatises and tutoring members of the nobilities.

Alhazen made significant contributions to optics, number theory, geometry, astronomy and natural philosophy. Alhazen's work on optics is credited with contributing a new emphasis on experiment.

His main work, Kitab al-Manazir (Book of Optics) was known in Islamicate societies mainly, but not exclusively, through the thirteenth-century commentary by Kamāl al-Dīn al-Fārisī, the Tanqīḥ al-Manāẓir li-dhawī l-abṣār wa l-baṣā'ir. In al-Andalus, it was used by the eleventh-century prince of the Banu Hud dynasty of Zaragossa and author of an important mathematical text, al-Mu'taman ibn Hūd.

A Latin translation of the Kitab al-Manazir was made probably in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. This translation was read by and greatly influenced a number of scholars in Catholic Europe including: Roger Bacon, Robert Grosseteste, Witelo, Giambattista della Porta, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Christian Huygens, René Descartes, and Johannes Kepler. 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 incidence and refraction does 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, Alhazen's work influenced Averroes' writings on optics, and his legacy was further advanced through the 'reforming' of his Optics by Persian scientist Kamal al-Din al-Farisi (died ca. 1320) in the latter's Kitab Tanqih al-Manazir (The Revision of [Ibn al-Haytham's] Optics). Alhazen wrote as many as 200 books, although only 55 have survived. Some of his treatises on optics survived only through Latin translation. During the Middle Ages his books on cosmology were translated into Latin, Hebrew and other languages. The crater Alhazen on the Moon is named in his honour, as was the asteroid 59239 Alhazen.

An aspect associated with Alhazen's optical research is related to systemic and methodological reliance on experimentation (i'tibar)(Arabic: إعتبار) 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). 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). According to Matthias Schramm, Alhazen:

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 apertures onto a screen diminishes constantly as one of the apertures is gradually blocked up.

Alhazen was a devout Muslim, though it is uncertain which branch of Islam he followed. He may have been either a follower of the Ash'ari school of Sunni Islamic theology according to Ziauddin Sardar and Lawrence Bettany (and opposed to the views of the Mu'tazili school), a follower of the Mu'tazili school of Islamic theology according to Peter Edward Hodgson, or a possibly follower of Shia Islam according to A. I. Sabra.
Alhazen 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.[109] He also wrote a treatise entitled Finding the Direction of Qibla by Calculation in which he discussed finding the Qibla, where Salat prayers are directed towards, mathematically.

Alhazen described his theology: "I constantly sought knowledge and truth, and it became my belief that for gaining access to the effulgence and closeness to God, there is no better way than that of searching for truth and knowledge."

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