The father of modern optics

07 Dec 2020  Mon

Hasan Ibn al-Haytham was an Arab mathematician, astronomer, and physicist of the Islamic Golden Age. Referred to as "the father of modern optics", he made significant contributions to the principles of optics and visual perception in particular. His most influential work is titled Kitab al-Manazir, written during 1011–1021, which survived in a Latin edition. A polymath, he also wrote on philosophy, theology and medicine.

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-Basri after his birthplace or al-Misri ("of Egypt"). Al-Haytham was dubbed the "Second Ptolemy" by Abu'l-Hasan Bayhaqi and "The Physicist" by John Peckham. Ibn al-Haytham paved the way for the modern science of physical optics.

Depicted here is a stamp issued by Qatar representing Ibn al-Haytham and his scientific achievements.

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