Mathematician:Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham

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Persian philosopher, scientist and all-round genius who made significant contributions to number theory and geometry.

His work influenced the work of René Descartes and the calculus of Isaac Newton.




  • Born: 965, in Basra, Persia (now Iraq)
  • Died: c. 1039, in Cairo, Egypt

Theorems and Definitions


  • Analysis and Synthesis, in which he discussed perfect numbers
  • Opuscula, in which he used the result now known as Wilson's Theorem
  • Book of Optics
  • Balance of Wisdom
  • Corrections to the Almagest
  • Discourse on Place
  • Exact Determination of the Pole
  • Exact Determination of the Meridian
  • Finding the Direction of Qibla by Calculation
  • Horizontal Sundials
  • Hour Lines
  • Doubts Concerning Ptolemy
  • Maqala fi'l-Qarastun
  • On Completion of the Conics
  • On Seeing the Stars
  • On Squaring the Circle
  • On the Burning Sphere
  • On the Configuration of the World
  • On the Form of Eclipse
  • On the Light of Stars
  • On the Light of the Moon
  • On the Milky Way
  • On the Nature of Shadows
  • On the Rainbow and Halo
  • Resolution of Doubts Concerning the Almagest
  • Resolution of Doubts Concerning the Winding Motion
  • The Correction of the Operations in Astronomy
  • The Different Heights of the Planets
  • The Direction of Mecca
  • The Model of the Motions of Each of the Seven Planets
  • The Model of the Universe
  • The Motion of the Moon
  • The Ratios of Hourly Arcs to their Heights
  • The Winding Motion
  • Treatise on Light
  • Treatise on Place
  • Treatise on the Influence of Melodies on the Souls of Animals

Approximately $50$ of the supposedly $200$ or so works of his survive. Not all have been studied and translated.

Also known as

Full name:

Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham

In Arabic:

ابو علي، حسن بن حسن بن الهيثم

In Persian:

ابن هیثم

Best known as Alhacen or (deprecated) Alhazen.