Ibn al-Haytham

965 - 1039

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Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham (Latinized as Alhazen; ; full name Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham أبو علي، الحسن بن الحسن بن الهيثم; c. 965 – c. 1040) was a medieval mathematician, astronomer, and physicist of the Islamic Golden Age from present-day Iraq. Referred to as "the father of modern optics", he made significant contributions to the principles of optics and visual perception in particular. His most influential work is titled Kitāb al-Manāẓir (Arabic: كتاب المناظر, "Book of Optics"), written during 1011–1021, which survived in a Latin edition. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Ibn al-Haytham has received more than 2,303,314 page views. His biography is available in 87 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 82 in 2019). Ibn al-Haytham is the 30th most popular physicist, the 13th most popular biography from Iraq (down from 11th in 2019) and the most popular Iraqi Physicist.

Ibn al-Haytham is most famous for his contributions to the field of optics. He is credited with discovering the principle of the pinhole camera, which is still used in photography today. He also contributed to the fields of geometry and trigonometry.

Memorability Metrics

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    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 87

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 7.09

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 5.30

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among physicists, Ibn al-Haytham ranks 30 out of 851Before him are Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, James Clerk Maxwell, Edward Teller, Heinrich Hertz, Hendrik Lorentz, and Daniel Bernoulli. After him are Luigi Galvani, Gustav Kirchhoff, Max Born, Andrei Sakharov, Paul Dirac, and Richard Feynman.

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Among people born in 965, Ibn al-Haytham ranks 1After him are Hisham II, Henry I, Margrave of Austria, Theodoric I, Duke of Upper Lorraine, Sancho García of Castile, Al-Qasim al-Ma'mun, Frederick of Luxembourg, and Godfrey II, Duke of Lower Lorraine. Among people deceased in 1039, Ibn al-Haytham ranks 1After him are Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, Cunigunde of Luxembourg, Dirk III, Count of Holland, Unsuri, Adalbero, Duke of Carinthia, Odo of Gascony, and Conrad II, Duke of Carinthia.

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In Iraq

Among people born in Iraq, Ibn al-Haytham ranks 13 out of 384Before him are Sarah (-1803), Abu Hanifa (698), Sennacherib (-740), Ashurbanipal (-685), Al-Kindi (801), and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780). After him are Mani (216), Rabia of Basra (710), Nur ad-Din (1116), Zaha Hadid (1950), Al-Masudi (896), and Nebuchadnezzar I (-1200).

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Among physicists born in Iraq, Ibn al-Haytham ranks 1After him are Jim Al-Khalili (1962).