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SCIENCE & ISLAM ep2 1of6 | The Empire of Reason | موالإسلا العلم

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Uploaded on Jan 13, 2009

Professor Al-Khalili travels to northern Syria to discover how, a thousand years ago, the great astronomer and mathematician Al-Biruni estimated the size of the earth to within a few hundred miles of the correct figure.
He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry.

He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry.
In Cairo, he tells the story of the extraordinary physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who helped establish the modern science of optics and proved one of the most fundamental principles in physics - that light travels in straight lines.
Prof Al-Khalili 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.

First shown on BBC4 12/01/2009
Professor Jim Al-Khalili presents Science and Islam

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