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Work done in the field of Physics

Renaissance torch bearer Roger Bacon and Witelo were inspired by Latin translation of ‘Kitab al-manazir’ (Book on Optics) written by Ibn al-Haytham. In this al-Haytham discussed mirrors and lenses and nature of light. Like Ibn-Sina (Avicena) and al-Biruni, he established rays of light start from the object and travel towards eye, not the reverse as Greeks believed. Fixing the height of atmosphere at 52000 paces, he explained astronomical twilight and attributed it to refraction by atmosphere. He also explained the apparent elevation of celestial bodies above the horizon and enlargement of apparent size of the Sun and the Moon near horizon. Ibn-al-Haytham also discovered and explained spherical aberration (inability of lense edges to focus rays through focal point) and camera obscura (_______).  Kitab al-Mizan al-Hikma ( Book of Balance of Wisdom) was written by al-Khazini (515 Ah/1121-2 AD) discusses a lot of physics as specific gravity, hydrostatics, livers , capillarity, aerometer and a theory of gravity in which things are attracted towards the center of universe (i.e. the Earth) which is half of the Newton’s theory of gravitation.
Application of physics to the art of construction was done by Banu Musa brothers. (Here we leave these and other applications of physics by a host of Islamic scientists to be mentioned under the title ‘Engineering’)

Al-Jazari’s first water-raising machine using a flume-beam swap. Thirteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

 

A counterweight trebuchet for burling heavy missiles. Fourteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Siege engines on a tower. On the right a traction trebuchet, in the center a counterweight trebuchet and on the left a missile throwing machine powered by the torsion of twisted hair or sinew. Fourteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Siege engines on a tower. On the right a traction trebuchet, in the center a counterweight trebuchet and on the left a missile throwing machine powered by the torsion of twisted hair or sinew. Fourteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Illustration of a torpedo designed to travel on the surface of water. From a manuscript of al-Rammah. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

A zarraqa, or siphon, for emitting a jet of burning liquid. Fourteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

A traction trebuchet for throwing missiles. It is shown without its supports in this drawing, which comes form a manuscript of the fourteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

A pedestal crossbow. The windlass wheels are shown at either end of an axle through the stock. The pinion wheel is shown faintly at the lower right-hand corner of the illustration. Fourteenth century AD. Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Al-Jazari’s third machine for raising water, a saqiya producing a cascade of water at the side of an ornamental lake. The water-driven mechanism was hidden and the wheel appeared to be turned by a wooden model of a cow. Thirteenth century AD. Suleymaniye Kutuphanesi, Istanbul

 

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