The Six-Cylinder Water Pump of Taqi al-Din: Its Mathematics, Operation and Virtual Design

The main objective of this study is to investigate into the six-cylinder water raising pump described around 1550 by the Ottoman Muslim scientist Muhammad Ibn Ma'ruf, known as Taqi al-Din, in his treatise Al-Turuq al-Saniya fi al-' alat al-ruhaniya. After an outline of the historical context and an English translation of the relevant sections of the manuscript, the focus is laid on the engineering analysis of the water pump. The result of the analysis yielded the reconstruction of the machine through a graphical model which was then used to produce a virtual 3D animation of the mechanical workings of the various parts, including the water turbine, the cam shaft, the connecting rods, the reciprocating pistons and the cylinders.

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Interview with Dr. Rim Turkmani

The tradition of Islamic astronomy is the main topic of the following interview, in which Dr Rim Turkmani, an astrophysicist scholar, draws on her passion for Islamic science to present a survey on salient aspects of Islamic classical astronomy. At the end, she shows how this scientific tradition is still inspiring today. On that point, the attitude of openness, diversity and tolerance is highlighted.

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1001 Inventions at National Geographic Museum, Washington DC, USA

National Geographic Museum Celebrates Scientific Achievements of Muslim Civilization. The award-winning interactive exhibition, 1001 Inventions, opened in the US capital on the 3rd of August 2012, introducing brand new audiences to the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization. Visitors to the National Geographic Museum, just half a mile from the White House, will be given the opportunity to discover the ground-breaking scientific and cultural achievements of this era, from the 7th to the 17th centuries, for six months until the 3rd of February 2013.

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1001 Inventions Success in Dhahran

The award-winning interactive exhibition, 1001 Inventions, has completed a blockbuster residency in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, welcoming more than 50,000 visitors over a 4-week period. The exhibition was an anchor attraction at the Saudi Aramco Cultural Program (SACP), between the 21st of June and the 18th of July 2012, at the Aramco Cultural Park in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

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Inter-cultural Respect through Cultural Roots of Science

The important lecture presented by Professor Salim Al-Hassani at the 15th Euro-Asian Economic Forum held in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey in April 2012 addressed an assembly of eminent political representatives of fifty countries. His focus was on the roots of science as a fundamental fact or in intercultural respect and world peace. Based on the rich experience of FSTC and its mission, Professor Al-Hassani endeavoured to show how the edutainment, academic and electronic works and projects launched and developed by FSTC fill a gap of 1000 years of amnesia and rehabilitates a true view of history in which all nations, communities and cultures participated. His plea is best represented by the call he launched at the end of the lecture to the leaders of the countries participating in this summit "to give a serious thought to using the cultural roots of science and sports to enhance respect and appreciation between their peoples."

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Ibn Zuhr and the Progress of Surgery

This study of the original Arabic edition of the book Al-Taysir fi ‘l-Mudawat wa’l-Tadbir (Book of Simplification Concerning Therapeutics and Diet) written by the Muslim physician Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar, 1093-1162 CE) aims at evaluating his contributions to the progress of surgery and providing English translations of relevant excerpts. Ibn Zuhr's unique experiment performing a tracheotomy on a goat, proved the safety of this operation in humans and represented a further step in the development of the experimental school started by Al-Razi (Rhazes) of Baghdad in the 9th century who is known to have given monkeys doses of mercury to test it as a drug for human use. Ibn Zuhr also performed post mortems on sheep in the course of his clinical research on treatment of ulcerating diseases of the lungs. Same as all his predecessors in the Islamic Era, he stressed the importance of a practical and sound knowledge of anatomy for surgical trainees. Furthermore, Ibn Zuhr insisted on a well supervised and structured training program for the surgeon-to-be, before allowing him to operate independently. He also drew the red lines at which a physician should stop, during his general management of a surgical condition; a step forward in the evolution of general surgery as a specialty of its own. He believed in prophylaxis against urinary stone disease and reported the importance of dietary management for that purpose. Furthermore, Ibn Zuhr enriched surgical and medical knowledge by describing many diseases and treatment innovations not ever described before him.

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The Instruments of Istanbul Observatory

In this article, Professor Sevim Tekeli, an outstanding scholar in the history of Ottoman science, describes the instruments built by Taqî al-Dîn Ibn Ma'ruf and his team at the Istanbul observatory (was in activity between 1577 and 1580), and points out in particular the close resemblances between them and those used in Western Europe by Tycho Brahe, at the same time, in his observatory at Uraniborg Castle.

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The Astronomical Clock of Taqi Al-Din: Virtual Reconstruction

In his book The Brightest Stars for the Construction of Mechanical Clocks (Al-Kawakib al-durriyya fi wadh' al-bankamat al-dawriyya), Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf analyses the four main types of time keeping devices known in the 16th century: watches, domestic clocks, astronomical clocks and tower clocks. Such machines represent the earliest mechanical computers. In the following, we present for the first time a virtual reconstruction of the astronomical clock type through geometrical drawing and 3D animation.

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Abu ‘l-Barakat al-Baghdadi: Outline of a Non-Aristotelian Natural Philosophy

Abū 'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādā (flourished in the 11th-12th centuries in Baghdad) was a scholar of the Arabic-Islamic tradition. An original philosopher and respected medical authority, he is well known by his Al-Kitāb al-Mu'tabar, a philosophical essay in which he submitted some of the fundamental concepts of natural philosophy to a penetrating analysis. He suggested in it many interesting alternatives that found an echo in modern developments in physics, such as his ideas about the physics of motion and the concept of time.

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