Showing posts with label scientist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scientist. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Muslim Astronomers

Need for Astronomical Science
- Travel for Trade Find direction of Makkah
- Building Mosques
- Star Maps
- Astrolabes Building of Observatories
- Celestial Motions
- Geodetic Measurements
- Verification of Solar Year
- Astronomical Instruments
Arab developed interest  in study of stars and sky because as the dwellers of the desert who usually traveled at night in connection with trade, war and migration from one place to another, they found the direction of their journey with the help of the stars. The clear sky of the desert gave them a chance of making precise observations. Thus there was some locally acquired knowledge of the fixed stars, the movements of the planets and the changes of the weather. After the advent of Islam, the Muslims had to determine the time of the prayers and the direction of the Ka'abah. For this Muslims who once flourished in trade all over the world of launched Jihad, had to travel on the land and the sea. As an aid to travel, navigation and meteorology, a by-product of navigation, they needed star maps. The necessity of such maps also resulted in their interest in astronomy.
The regular study of astronomy and mathematic s was begun at Baghdad in the second half of the 8th century CE during the time of the second 'Abbasi Khaleefah al-Mansur, The investigations on astronomy continued. Nearly all of the original and creative work was done by Muslims. Astronomy reached its highest in the 13th and 14th centuries CEo In the 12th century CE, the Christians and Jews started the work of translation from Arabic into Latin and Hebrew, and began to conduct research in this field. But until the end of the 13th century CE, no mathematical and astronomical work comparable to that of the Muslims could be produced by the Christians or Jews.

The Muslim astronomers also prepared the star maps to preserve the old astronomical knowledge and to use them as aid to travel navigation and meteorology. Astronomer
Ibrahim ibn Habib al-Fazari was the first Muslim who constructed astrolabes . He composed a poem on astrology, and compiled a (calendar) according to the Arab method. He also wrote on the use of astrolabes and on the armillary spheres.
During the time of Khaleefah al-Ma'mun the important work of translation of Ptolemy's Almagest from Greek into Arabic was completed: Khaleefah al-Ma 'rnun (786 - 833 CE) built an observatory In Baghdad in his Bayt al-Hikmah and another in the plains of Tadmor".
More original and improved work was done in the second half of the 10th century CEo The elaboration of trigonometry, arch was considered to be a branch of astronomy at that time , was  also continued. Great attention was paid to the construction of good astronomical instruments, especially to the spherical astrolabe which was newly introduced at that time. Hamid ibn 'Ali and 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir ibn Sinan al-Battani were famous makers of astrolabes

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Contribution of Muslims to Chemistry

- Definition of Organic & Inorganic Chemistry
- Sulfur Mercury Theory of Metals
- Calcination
- Reduction
- Discoveries of various Acids Sulfuric & Nitric acids
- Preparation of Drugs
- Applied Chemistry
- Paper
Chemistry deals with the composition and properties of substances and the changes of composition they undergo. It has been divided into Inorganic and Organic. The conception of this division in modem Chemistry came from al-Razi 's classification of chemical substances into mineral, vegetable and animal. Inorganic chemistry, which deals with the preparation and properties of the elements and their compounds, originally arose from the study of minerals and metals. Organic chemistry, which deals with carbon compounds, developed through the investigation of animal and plant products.
Jabir ibn Hayyan, a great Muslim chemist of the 8th century CE, modified the Aristotelian doctrine of the four elements, and presented the so called sulfur mercury theory of metals. According to this theory, metals duller essentially because of different proportions of sulfur and mercury in them. He recognized and stated the importance of experimentation in chemistry; He combined the theoretical knowledge of the Greeks and the practical knowledge of craftsmen, and made noteworthy advances both in the theory and practice of chemistry. Jabir's contribution to chemistry is very great. He gave a scientific description of two principle operations of chemistry. One of them is calcination which is employed in the extraction of metals from their ores. The other is reduction which is employed in numerous chemical treatments. He improved upon the methods of evaporation, melting, distillation, sublimation and crystallization. These are the fundamental methods employed in the purification of chemical substances, enabling the chemist to study their properties and uses, and to prepare them. The process of distillation is particularly used for taking extracts of plant material. The most important discovery made by Jabir was the preparation of sulfuric acid. The importance of this discovery can be realized by the fact that in this modem age the extent of the industrial progress of a country is mostly judged by the amount of sulfuric acid used in that country.
Another important acid prepared by him was nitric acid which he obtained by distilling a mixture of alum and copper sulfate. Then by dissolving ammonium chloride into this acid, he prepared aqua-regia which unlike acids could dissolve gold in it.

Jabir classified chemical substances, on the basis of some distinctive features, into bodies (gold, silver, etc.) and souls (mercury, sulfur, etc.) to make the study of their properties easier. In the same century Jabir's work was further advanced by al-Razi who wrote many chemical treatises, and described a number of chemical instruments. He applied his chemical knowledge for medical purposes, thus laying the foundation of applied chemistry.
Abu Mansur distinguished between sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. He had some knowledge of arsenious oxide, cupric oxide, antimony and other substances. He knew the toxicological effects of copper and lead compounds, the depilatory virtue of quicklime, the composition of plaster of Paris and its surgical use.
The great Muslim surgeon, Khalaf ibn' Abbas al-Zahrawi wrote a great medical encyclopedia, Al-Tasrif, which contains interesting methods of preparing drugs by sublimation and distillation, but it's most important part is the surgical one. Ibn Sina wrote a treatise on minerals that provided one of the main sources of geological knowledge, and chemistry in Western Europe until the Renaissance. The Muslim chemists applied their chemical knowledge to a large number of industrial arts.
Paper is also featured in the pioneering works of the Muslims. Paper was invented by the Chinese who prepared it from the cocoon of the silk worm. Some specimens of Chinese paper dates back to the second century C.E. The first manufacture of the paper outside China occurred in Samarkand  in 757 C.E., when Samarkand was captured by the Muslims, the manufacture of paper spread all over the Muslims World. By the end of the 12th century CE, there were four hundred paper mills in Fas alone. In Spain the main center of manufacturing of paper was Shatiba which remained a Muslim city until 1239 C.E., Cordoba was the center of the paper business in Spain.
The Muslims developed this art. They prepared paper not only from silk, but also from cotton, rags and wood. In the middle of the 10th century CE the paper industry was introduced into Spain. In Khurasan" paper was made from linen. Joseph Karabacek, in one of his works, explains the process of making paper in minute detail, describing how the pulp is prepared to make sheets, washed and cleaned them, colored, polished and pasted. No text comparable to this in any other language exists from that time. The preparation of pulp involves a large number of complicated chemical processes, which indicates the level of achievement in chemistry reached by Muslims.
The manufacture of writing paper in Spain is one of the most beneficial contributions of Muslim to Europe. Without paper the scale on which popular education in Europe developed would not have been possible. The Muslims method of producing paper from cotton could only be useful for the Europeans. After Spain the art of paper making was established in Italy in1268 CE France owed its first paper mills to Muslim Spain. From these countries the industry spread throughout Europe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Muslims Contribution to Mathamatics

Mathematics –
·         Number Zero
·         Arabic Numbers
·         Algorithms
·         Al Khawarizmi’s Work on Algebra
·         Determining roots of Quadratic Equations
·         Sine and Cosine Tables
·         Cubic Equations
·         Work of Banu Musa on Geometry
The symbols used today for numbers in the West are derived from the Arabic symbols. Algebra was made exact science by Muslims. Al Khwarizmi named his book dealing with this subject al Al Kitab al Mukhtsur fi Hisab al-Jabr wa al Muqabala ( The Book of Rstitution and Comparison) Algorithm was derived from his work. He wrote an encyclopedic work dealing with arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.
Abu Said al- Darir al Jurajani ( d 845) who was Muslim Astronomer and Mathematician , wrote on geometrical problem.
Umar ibn Ibrahim Al Khayyam was one of greatest Muslim Mathematicians and astronomer of Middle Ages. He discussed cubic equations. Another mathematician and geographer was Al Hassan ibn Ali al Murrakushi, who flourished until 1262 CE. He wrote various works on astronomy, which was put to practical use in astronomical instruments and methods. Also, Abu al Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Uthman al Azadi , a very popular Muslim writer authored 74 works that dealt with mathematics and  astronomy.