My father used to tell me stories about an Arab scientist who lived around a 1000 years ago named Abū ʿAlī Al-Ḥasan Ibn Al-Ḥasan Ibn Al-Haytham most commonly known as Ibn Al-Haytham. My father’s fascination with the man led me to love him just as much and deservedly so after the research I had done on him following my father’s guidance. So whatever I write about him will not come close to describe him, and will most certainly not do him using just a phew phrases.
Ibn al-Haytham is sometimes called al-Basri, meaning from the city of Basra in Iraq, and sometimes called al-Misri, meaning that he came from Egypt. He is often known as Alhazen which is the Latinised version of his first name “al-Hasan”.
In particular this name occurs in the naming of the problem for which he is best remembered, namely Alhazen’s problem
Who is Ibn Al-Haytham? My father used to describe him as a human encyclopaedia, an exaggeration you may think! Not so much when you know that he was a mathematician, astronomer, physicist and a philosopher a true polymath in every sense of the word. Professor Jim Al-Khalili wrote a piece about him on BBC News website titled “The First True Scientist” trying to highlight his achievements in scientific theories that were never attributed to him, Professor Al-Khalili says in his article and I quote ” It is incredible that we are only now uncovering the debt that today’s physicists owe to an Arab who lived 1,000 years ago” you can find the full article on the BBC News website, there is even a website that is fully dedicated to this great man.
I feel that it is important that people especially children hear and learn about this scientist who excelled in several scientific fields but he will always be best known as the father of optics. I also hope that Ibn Al-Haytham will be included in most curriculums just as Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei and all the others are.
Why not Learn Arabic Language online and discover more scientists similar to Ibn Al-Haytham and how they have benefited our society in our current times.