SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alhazen (965-1040), Islamic scientist. His Arabic name is Abu Ali Al-Hasan ibn al-Haitham. Born in Basrah (present-day Iraq), he travelled in Egypt and then settled in Islamic Spain where he spent most of his career. His most famous works were on optics. He studied the propagation of light and colours, as well as conducting experiments on refraction and dispersion. He accurately described the human eye, and the process of vision. He wrote about rainbows and eclipses, and estimated the height of the atmosphere based on his observations of when twilight started and ended. He also studied medicine and mathematics.
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