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Alhazen: how madness saved the beginning of experimental physics

Poster Details

First Author: L.MacMorris USA

Co Author(s):    S. Scholtz   A. Assaf   T. Tandogan   F. Krogmann   G. Auffarth   M. Shafik     

Abstract Details


This poster is done in honor of Alhazen (Al�Ä�« al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haitham, 965 �â�€�“ 1039) because of his significant contributions to the principles of optics.


(1) International Vision Correction Research Centre (IVCRC), Dept. of Ophthalmology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, (2) Ain Shams University Cairo, Egypt, (3) University of Alexandria, Eye Clinic, Alexandria, Egypt


Literature search for journal articles via PubMed, Google Scholar and Google with respect to life and work of Alhazen, the inventor of the first reading stone.


To avoid severe punishment by the caliph Alhazen pretended to be mad. In fact he had made some of the most important optical discoveries which help us in our lives today; he is rated as the founder of experimental physics. Alhazen improved the theories concerning the refraction and reflection of light. He recognized and specified the magnifying effect of convex glass surfaces resulting in the first 'reading stone'. He is therefore, considered the inventor of loupes.


Even after the passing of centuries, Alhazen�Â�´s work continued to inspire scientists: e.g. he probably influenced Roger Bacon who invented reading glasses and Witelo, who translated Alhazen's most famous book, �â�€�žKitab-al Manazir�â�€�œ 1270, into the Latin language.

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