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30 OCTOBER 2015

Science and Islam: The Islamic Golden Age

"Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science – there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis.

He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry and argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn’t really exist before."

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14th century2009 • 8th century • Abbasid Caliphate • Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali • Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi • Al-Farabi • Al-Khwarizmi • Al-Muallim Al-Thani • algebraalgorithm • alkali • Amira Bennison • Ancient GreekArabic scienceastronomy • Averroes • BaghdadBBC Four • Canon of Medicine • chemistry • early medicine • fundamental research • geometry • George Saliba • Greek culture • Greek geometry • Greek mathematics • history of ideashistory of scholarshiphistory of science • House of Wisdom in Baghdad • Ian Stewart • Ibn Arabi • Ibn Khaldun • Ibn Rushd • Ibn Sina • India • Indian texts • Iran • Islamic design • Islamic geometric design • Islamic Golden Age • Islamic mathematics • Islamic patterns • Islamic science • Islamic world • Jim Al-Khalili • language translation • mathematical elegance • medieval Islamic civilisation • medieval Islamic science • middle ages • Muslim territories • Nader El-Bizri • Okasha El Daly • outward-looking culture • patronage • Persian texts • personal journey • Peter Pormann • pioneering engineering • pioneering mathematics • pioneering science • progressive societyrenaissance • repeated geometrical shapes • science and Islam • Science and Islam (2009) • scientific knowledge • Simon Schaffer • SpainSyriatelevision documentary • Thabit ibn Qurrah • The Sabian • The Translation Movement • trigonometry • TunisiaTurkey

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 MARCH 2005

Al-Jazari: Ludic Interactions

"an alternative notion of automation emphasizing the oft–neglected affective dimensions of interactions with machines. Many of al–Jazari's machines were preoccupied with providing visual and highly visceral experiences that were both playful and speculative. It is suggested that the ludic dimensions and, what I call, ‘automotive pleasures', of the machinic and automated experiences elicited by al–Jazari's machines have been historically displaced by the increasing constitution of machines as labour–substitutive, instrumental and culturally neutral contraptions."

(Gunalan Nadarajan)

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African culture • Al-Jazari • Asian elephant • automation • automaton • automotive pleasures • ball • bucket • Chinese culture • clockcontraption • cuckoo clock • dragon • Egyptian culture • elephant • elephant clock • engineerengineeringGreek culture • Gunalan Nadarajan • howdah • humanoid automaton • Indian culture • interactionIslamIslamic cultureludicludic interventionmachine • mahout • mechanical birdmechanical innovationmedieval invention • multiculturalism represented in technology • passage of time • phoenix • play • see-saw mechanism • serpentsnakespeculative design • timing mechanism • tower • turban • Turkey • water clock • water-filled bucket • weight powered water clock
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