By Dominique Raynaud
This booklet offers the 1st severe variation of Ibn al-Haytham’s On the form of the Eclipse with English translation and observation, which documents the 1st clinical research of the digicam obscura. On the form of the Eclipse comprises pioneering learn at the stipulations of formation of the picture, in a time deemed to be devoted to aniconism. It additionally presents an early try to merge the 2 branches of historic optics—the conception of sunshine and idea of vision.
What maybe 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 through various all that may be replaced: the form and measurement of the aperture, the focal size of the digicam obscura, the space and form of the celestial our bodies. this manner, he completed a radical realizing. This paintings represents a decisive step in either the heritage of optics and the applying of the experimental procedure that used to be simply as effective in medieval Islam as today.
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Extra info for A Critical Edition of Ibn al-Haytham’s On the Shape of the Eclipse: The First Experimental Study of the Camera Obscura
Mathematics. The word ( ﺳ ـﻬ ـﻢsahm), literally “arrow,” occurs frequently in Ibn alHaytham’s text. , line FR of arc ŠFH (lines 623). The same word can refer to the “axis” ṢṬF of ¯ the light cone spread from the aperture (lines 130, 139) and, more critically, it can also refer to the “generatrix” SḤT of the same cone (line 135). Here any word-toword translation would fail to make the text clear. In view of this, the word sahm has been translated to “sagitta,” “axis” or “generatrix,” according to the context.
See note 25. Wiedemann translates this passage as: “Der Tangentialkreis des Kegels liegt etwas näher bei uns als der Sonnenmittelpunkt” (1914: 156). This is a mistake: Wiedemann points out the difference of distance between the circle tangent to the Sun and the center of the Sun, while Ibn al-Haytham had in mind the angular difference between the circle tangent to the Sun and the plane of the aperture. 25. ( اﻟـ ـﺲal-ḥiss) here refers to eyesight. The Arabic root ḥss is long-winded: aḥassa (sentire), al-ḥass, ḥassā, ḥiss and iḥsās (sensus), ḥassās and maḥsūs (sensibilis) and al-ḥass (sentiens).
If this plane is parallel to the plane of the aperture, the shape of the light that appears on the plane L10v parallel to the aperture will be in the form of the aperture. ǀPǁBO 18. This is a reference to Apollonius, Conics, I,4: “Si l’une ou l’autre de deux surfaces opposées par le sommet est coupée par un certain plan parallèle au cercle sur lequel se déplace la droite qui décrit la surface, le plan intercepté par la surface sera un cercle ayant son centre sur l’axe” (Decorps-Foulquier et al.