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Alhazen
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Scientist
    (July 1, 965-March 6, 1040)
    Born in Basra, Iraq
    Full name was AbūʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham, which is often shortened as ibn al-Haytham
    Referred to as 'Ptolemy the Second' by medieval Europeans
    Wrote as many as 200 books, including 'Book of Optics', 'On the Configuration of the World', 'Doubts Concerning Ptolemy', 'Model of the Motions of Each of the Seven Planets', 'Treatise on the Influence of Melodies on the Souls of Animals', 'Treatise on Peace', 'The Winding Motion', 'Opuscula', and 'Exact Determination of the Meridian'
    Devised the term 'Alhazen's problem', which determines the point of reflection from a plane or curved surface using conic sections
    First known person to apply the scientific method to his experiments
    Served under Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim
    Died in Cairo
    His full name was very long.
    He became overconfident and once boasted that his achievements allowed him to control the Nile, which attracted the attention of Al-Hakim, who asked him to perform the feat.
    He could not, so he had to feign madness to escape the death penalty, which led to his house arrest.
    There were rumors that he is actually two people: al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan, who wrote the optics part, and Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan, who wrote the autobiography part.
    Though certainly a devout Muslim, it is debated which branch of Islam he followed, with some saying he followed the Ash'ari school of Sunni Islam and others saying he was a Shia Islam.
    Of the 200 or so books he wrote, only 55 survived.
    His 'Book of Optics' influenced various European scientists.
    His theory on light originating from the object of vision was an improvement on Euclid and Ptolemy's theories that the eye was the source of light.
    He wrote that seeking knowledge helped him become closer to God.
    His contributions to science is commemorated in the 2015 International Year of Light launched by UNESCO.
    He based his discoveries of light on evidence given to him through experiments rather than abstract theory and established principles.
    A crater on the moon is named after him.

Credit: Big Lenny


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