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Inventions in the Islamic World

Inventions in the Islamic World

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Published by BTghazwa
A list of all the inventions and discoveries by Muslims over the ages.
A list of all the inventions and discoveries by Muslims over the ages.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: BTghazwa on May 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Inventions in the Islamic World
Islamic Astronomy: Astronomical instruments
 Muslim astronomers developed a number of astronomical instruments, includingseveral variations of the astrolabe, originally invented by Hipparchus in the 2ndcentury BCE, but with considerable improvements made to the device in theMuslim world. These instruments were used by Muslims for a variety of purposesrelated to astronomy, astrology, horoscopes, navigation, surveying,timekeeping, Qibla, Salah, etc.
 Brass astrolabe by Muhammad al-Fazari in the 8th century.Earliest surviving astrolabe in 315 AH (927-928 CE).Mechanical geared astrolabe by Ibn Samh (c. 1020).Navigational astrolabe was invented in the Islamic world. It employed the use ofa polar projection system.In the 10th century, al-Sufi first described over 1000 different uses of anastrolabe, including uses in astronomy, astrology, horoscopes, navigation,surveying, timekeeping, Qibla, Salah, etc.Orthographical astrolabe by Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century.Saphaea, a universal astrolabe for all latitudes, by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Zarqali(Arzachel) in 11th century Islamic Spain.Zuraqi, a heliocentric astrolabe where the Earth is in motion rather than thesky, by al-Sijzi in the 11th century.Linear astrolabe ("staff of al-Tusi") by Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi in the 12th century.
Analog Machines (or Computers)
 Equatorium by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Zarqali (Arzachel) in Islamic Spain circa1015.Planisphere by Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century.Mechanical lunisolar calendar computer with gear train and gear-wheels by AbuRayhan al-Biruni.Fixed-wired knowledge processing machine by Abu Rayhan al-Biruni.Mechanical astrolabe with calendar computer and gear-wheels by Abi Bakr ofIsfahan in 1235.Oldest surviving complete mechanical geared machine by Abi Bakr of Isfahan in1235.The Plate of Conjunctions, a computing instrument used to determine the timeof day at which planetary conjunctions will occur,and for performing linearinterpolation, invented by al-Kashi in the 15th century.A mechanical planetary computer called the Plate of Zones, which couldgraphically solve a number of planetary problems, invented by al-Kashi in the
15th century. It could predict the true positions in longitude of the Sun andMoon, and the planets in terms of elliptical orbits;the latitudes of the Sun,Moon, and planets; and the ecliptic of the Sun. The instrument alsoincorporated an alhidade and ruler.
Armillary spheres
 Several different types of armillary spheres.Celestial globes which could calculate the altitude of the Sun and the rightascension and declination of the stars in the 11th century.The spherical astrolabe was first produced in the Islamic world by the 14thcentury.
Mural instruments
 The first quadrants and mural instruments by al-Khwarizmi in 9th centuryBaghdad, Iraq.Sine quadrant for astronomical calculations by al-Khwarizmi in 9th centuryBaghdad.Horary quadrant for specific latitudes by al-Khwarizmi in 9th century Baghdad.The Quadrans Vetus, a universal horary quadrant which could be used for anylatitude and at any time of the year to determine the time, as well as the timesof Salah, invented by al-Khwarizmi in 9th century Baghdad. This was the secondmost widely used astronomical instrument during the Middle Ages after theastrolabe.The Quadrans Novus, an astrolabic quadrant invented in Egypt in the 11thcentury or 12th century, and later known in Europe as the "Quadrans Vetus"(New Quadrant).Almucantar quadrant, invented in the medieval Islamic world. It employed theuse of trigonometry. The term "almucantar" is itself derived from Arabic.Astronomical sextant by Abu-Mahmud al-Khujandi in Ray, Iran in 994.
Other instruments
 Alhidade (the term "alhidade" is itself derived from Arabic).Shadow square, an instrument used to determine the linear height of an object,in conjunction with the alidade for angular observations, invented byMuhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi in 9th century Baghdad.Highly accurate astronomical clocks.Astrometric device in Islamic Spain around 1015.Star chart by Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century.
Aviation Technology
 In 9th century Islamic Spain, Abbas Ibn Firnas (Armen Firnas) invented aprimitive version of the parachute. John H. Lienhard described it in The Enginesof Our Ingenuity as follows:
 "In 852, a new Caliph and a bizarre experiment: A daredevil named ArmenFirman decided to fly off a tower in Cordova. He glided back to earth, using ahuge winglike cloak to break his fall. He survived with minor injuries, and theyoung Ibn Firnas was there to see it."
Hang glider
 Shortly afterwards, Abbas Ibn Firnas built the first hang glider, which may havealso been the first manned glider. Knowledge of Firman and Firnas' flyingmachines spread to other parts of Europe from Arabic references.According to Philip Hitti in History of the Arabs:"Ibn Firnas was the first man in history to make a scientific attempt at flying."
Flight controls
 Abbas Ibn Firnas was the first to make an attempt at controlled flight. Hemanuipulated the flight controls of his hang glider using two sets of artificialwings to adjust his altitude and to change his direction. He successfullyreturned to where he had lifted off from, but his landing was unsuccessful.
Artificial wings
 Ibn Firnas' hang glider was the first to have artificial wings, though the flightwas eventually unsuccessful. According to Evliya Çelebi in the 17th century,Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi was the first aviator to have made a successful flightwith artificial wings between 1630-1632.
Artificially-powered manned rocket
 According to Evliya Çelebi in the 17th century, Lagari Hasan Çelebi launchedhimself in the air in a seven-winged rocket, which was composed of a large cagewith a conical top filled with gunpowder. The flight was accomplished as a partof celebrations performed for the birth of Ottoman Emperor Murad IV's daughterin 1633. Evliya reported that Lagari made a soft landing in the Bosporus by usingthe wings attached to his body as a parachute after the gunpowder wasconsumed, foreshadowing the sea-landing methods of astronauts withparachutes after their voyages into outer space. Lagari's flight was estimated tohave lasted about twenty seconds and the maximum height reached was around300 metres. This was the first known example of a manned rocket and anartificially-powered aircraft.
Astronautics and space exploration
 In the 20th century, Muslim rocket scientists from Soviet Central Asia wereinvolved in research on astronautics and space exploration. Kerim Kerimov fromAzerbaijan was one of the most important key figures in early space

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