11th century in science

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This is a summary of the 11th century in science and technology.

Illustration by Al-Biruni of different phases of the moon, from Kitab al-Tafhim (in Persian)

Al-Biruni is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of 11th century and was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist and linguist.[1]

Of the 146 books known to have been written by Bīrūnī, 95 were devoted to astronomy, mathematics, and related subjects like mathematical geography.[2]

Predicted and scheduled events[edit]

Optics[edit]

Geography[edit]

  • Al-Bakri wrote about Europe, North Africa, and the Arabian peninsula. Only two of his works have survived. His Mu'jam mā ista'jam contains a list of place names mostly within the Arabian peninsular with an introduction giving the geographical background.
  • The Mas'udi Canon (Persian قانون مسعودي) - an extensive encyclopedia on astronomy, geography, and engineering, named after Mas'ud, son of Mahmud of Ghazni, to whom he dedicated.
  • Leif Ericsson claims to have made landfall at three lands in North America, one of which he names Vinland meaning the land of wine.[3]

Warfare[edit]

  • A Chinese manual on warfare includes the earliest known description of gunpowder.[4]

Printing[edit]

  • The concept of movable kind for printing is pioneered in China, using fired clay, but it proves impractical.[5]

Astronomy[edit]

  • The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology (Kitab al-tafhim li-awa’il sina‘at al-tanjim).
  • The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries (Arabic الآثار الباقية عن القرون الخالية) - a comparative study of calendars of different cultures and civilizations, interlaced with mathematical, astronomical, and historical information.
  • The Mas'udi Canon (Persian قانون مسعودي) - an extensive encyclopedia on astronomy, geography, and engineering, named after Mas'ud, son of Mahmud of Ghazni, to whom he dedicated.
  • Understanding Astrology (Arabic التفهيم لصناعة التنجيم) - a question and answer style book about mathematics and astronomy, in Arabic and Persian.
  • Astronomers in China and Japan observe the explosion of the supernova which is still visible as the Crab Nebula.[6]

Medicines[edit]

  • Pharmacy - about drugs and medicines.

Surgery[edit]

Geology and minerals[edit]

  • Gems (Arabic الجماهر في معرفة الجواهر) about geology, minerals, and gems, dedicated to Mawdud son of Mas'ud.

Other[edit]

  • Su Sung, a Buddhist monk, created in China the principle of the escapement in his tower clock worked by a water wheel.[8]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ D.J. Boilot, "Al-Biruni (Beruni), Abu'l Rayhan Muhammad b. Ahmad", in Encyclopaedia of Islam (Leiden), New Ed., vol.1:1236-1238. Excerpt 1: "He was born of an Iranian family in 362/973 (according to al-Ghadanfar, on 3 Dhu'l-Hididja/ 4 September — see E. Sachau, Chronology, xivxvi), in the suburb (birun) of Kath, capital of Khwarizm". Excerpt 2:"was one of the greatest scholars of mediaeval Islam, and certainly the most original and profound. He was equally well versed in the mathematical, astronomic, physical and natural sciences and also distinguished himself as a geographer and historian, chronologist and linguist and as an impartial observer of customs and creeds. He is known as al-Ustdadh, "the Master".
  2. ^ George Saliba, "BĪRŪNĪ, ABŪ RAYḤĀN iii. Mathematics and Astronomy" in Encyclopaedia Iranica
  3. ^ Leif Ericsson claims to have made landfall at three places in north America, one of which he names Vinland - the land of wine oxfordreference.com
  4. ^ A Chinese manual on warfare includes the earliest known description of gunpowder oxfordreference.com
  5. ^ The concept of movable type for printing is pioneered in China, using fired clay, but it proves impractical oxfordreference.com
  6. ^ Astronomers in China and Japan observe the explosion of the supernova which is still visible as the Crab Nebula oxfordreference.com
  7. ^ The first illustrated manual of surgery is written by Abul Kasim, an Arab physician in Cordoba oxfordreference.com
  8. ^ Su Sung, a Buddhist monk, develops in China the principle of the escapement in his tower clock worked by a water wheel .oxfordreference.com