A Critical Edition of Ibn al-Haytham’s On the Shape of the by Dominique Raynaud

By Dominique Raynaud

This e-book offers the 1st severe variation of Ibn al-Haytham’s On the form of the Eclipse with English translation and statement, which files the 1st medical research of the digital camera obscura. On the form of the Eclipse comprises pioneering study at the stipulations of formation of the picture, in a time deemed to be dedicated to aniconism. It additionally offers an early try and merge the 2 branches of historical optics—the idea of sunshine and thought of vision.

What might be so much strongly characterizes this treatiseis the shut interplay of a geometrical research of sunshine and experimental reasoning. Ibn al-Haytham performed his experiments in a scientific approach by means of various all which may be replaced: the form and dimension of the aperture, the focal size of the digital camera obscura, the space and form of the celestial our bodies. this manner, he accomplished a radical figuring out. This paintings represents a decisive step in either the background of optics and the appliance of the experimental approach that was once simply as effective in medieval Islam as today.

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Additional info for A Critical Edition of Ibn al-Haytham’s On the Shape of the Eclipse: The First Experimental Study of the Camera Obscura

Sample text

5. Overview of Ibn al-Haytham’s Device During the partial solar eclipse, the Sun ABǦ is covered by the Moon ADǦ. What remains of the Sun is the crescent-shaped figure ABǦD. When the aperture reduces to a pinhole (Fig. 5), the crescent-shaped figure ABǦD casts through Ḥ the image ŠYḪF on the projection plane. This is the result of central symmetry. When the aperture is large (Fig. 6), the crescent-shaped figure ABǦD casts through the aperture HṬḤ a composite image, which is made by the overlapping of image ŠYḪF obtained through Ḥ, image KLMN obtained through Ṭ, image ṮẒGQ obtained through H, and as many images as one wishes, by taking any other point of the aperture.

The verbal forms ‫ ﻳـ ـﻜـ ـﻮن‬،‫( ﺗـ ـﻜـ ـﻮن‬yakūn/takawwūn, “he/she is”) and ‫ ﻳـ ـﺨـ ـﺮج‬،‫ﺗـ ـﺨـ ـﺮج‬ (yakhruj/takharruj, “he/she comes out”) are muddled throughout the manuscripts. ‫ رأس ـ‬instead of ‫ﺳﻬﻤـﺎ‬ ‫رأ ـ ـ‬ Affixe pronouns are juxtaposed rather than attached: we read ‫ﻫﻤـﺎ‬ (rāsahumā, “their two apices”). All those peculiarities have been erased, while other spelling variants have been kept as long as the understanding of the text and ease of reading were not at stake. 3. Punctuation None of the manuscripts is puncutated with the use of commas, semicolons and full stops.

5. Finally, he devotes a long passage to the study of the shape of the image as a function of the light source, by comparing how the images of the Sun and the Moon appear in the darkroom. He puts forward two arguments, one of them is mistaken and the other correct. He mistakenly claims that the ratio required for light to appear crescent-shaped is not met in the case of the Moon. However, he appropriately explains that the image of the Moon is even more rounded than that of the Sun, because its faintness leads to the vanishing of the tips and edges that receive less light than the center of the image.

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