IBN SAHL (940-1000): “The Inventor of the Refraction Law”

Ibn Sahl

Ibn Sahl

Name: Abu Sa’d al-A’la ibn Sahl
Title: Mathematician, physicist and optic engineer
Birth:940
Death: 1000
Ethnicity: Iraqi Arab
Occupation: Scientist at the Abbasid Court, Baghdad.
Main interest: Physics, optics and mathematics.
Notable ideas: Discovering the law of refraction and useing it to derive lens shapes that focus light without geometric aberrations, known as anaclastic (aspehric lens). Designing elaborate mechanisms for drawing his lenses and irrors, dealing with parabolic mirrors, ellipsoidal mirrors, biconvex lenses, and techniques for drawing hyperbolic arcs. Ibn Sahl’s studies led to the development of instruments and theories on optis in Europe in the 17 century.
Works: On Burninbg Mirrorrs and Lenses (984). Credited by the Egyptian historian of science Prof Roshdi Rashed in 1990 for developing the first law of refraction, also known as Snell’s Law, named after the 17th century Dutch scientist Willebrord Snellius (1580-1626).
Sources: Wikipedia; fanousscientists.com; http://www.indiavisitinformation.com

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Friday, 12 May 2012

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