Al-Khwarizmi – medieval scientist
Al-Khwarizmi was one of the largest medieval Persian scientists of the IX century, mathematician, astronomer, geographer and historian. He is known as the Father of Algebra.
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was born in about 783 in Khiva, Khorezm.
Al-Khwarizmi was born in the era of the great cultural and scientific upsurge. Primary education he received from prominent scientists Maverannahr and Khorezm. At home, he learned the Indian and Greek science, and in Baghdad, he was already good scientist himself.
In 819 Al-Khwarizmi went to Baghdad and lived in the suburb of Kattrabbula. In Baghdad, he spent a considerable period of his life and headed House of Wisdom, which later was called Al-Mamun Academy. House of Wisdom was sort of the Academy of Sciences, where scientists from Syria, Egypt, Persia, Khorasan and Mawerannahr worked. There was a library with a large number of ancient manuscripts, and an astronomical observatory there. Many Greek philosophical and scientific works were translated into Arabic.
In 830 Al-Khwarizmi created the first known Arabic treatise on algebra. The word algebra comes from the Arabic word al-jabr, which appears in the title of al-Khwarizmi’s book.
He introduced algebra as an independent science of the general methods for solving linear and quadratic equations, given the classification of these equations. He was one of the early popularizers in the Islamic world of the numeral system, which, along with the zero concept, is called Arabic in the West but which was borrowed at about this time from India.
His works were translated from Arabic into Latin and then into new European languages. His work played an important role in the development of science of the Renaissance and had a fruitful influence on the development of medieval scientific thought in the East and the West.
Al-Khwarizmi developed detailed trigonometric tables containing the sine function.
In his works on astronomy he told about the calendars, calculations of the true positions of the planets, the parallax calculation and the eclipse. He made calculations of the positions of the sun, moon and planets, solar eclipses. The astronomical tables of al-Khwarizmi were translated into European languages.
He wrote a book on geography entitled Surat al-Ard (The Shape of the Earth).
Al-Khwarizmi died in 850 in Baghdad.