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Science in a Golden Age
Science in a Golden Age
Science in a Golden Age
25 min • Health & Science, History • 2015 • PG

Map-making, navigation and the measurement of time. The study of astronomy has been essential to developing our understanding of the universe, and between the 9th and 14th centuries, scholars from the Islamic world like those in Abbasid Caliph Al-Ma'mun's court and the Persian astronomers Al Tusi and Al Biruni - consolidated and refined the astronomy of earlier civilisations and came up with ideas that have influenced space science right through to the present day.

Ratings:
Astronomy
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1. Astronomy
25 mins

Jim Al-Khalili uncovers the 9th century map of the world commissioned by Caliph Al Ma'mun, examines the Museum of Islamic Art?s collection of astrolabes and reveals how the work of Copernicus in the 16th century incorporated key elements of Al Tusi's scientific observations from the 13th century.

Optics
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2. Optics
25 mins

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili traces back our modern understanding of optics and light to the scientific discoveries that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. We start our journey in SESAME - the state-of-the-art giant particle accelerator located in Jordan.

Mathematics
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3. Mathematics
25 mins

From fast cars and aeroplanes to computer encryption - mathematics underpins so much of modern life. Jim Al-Khalili uncovers how, between the 9th and 14th centuries, mathematicians from the Islamic world helped mathematicise science and lay the foundations of algebra.

Engineering
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4. Engineering
25 mins

From the Iraqi Banu Musa brothers of the 9th century, to the Andalusian engineer Abbas Ibn Firnas, to Al Jazari who lived and worked in the 12th century - Jim Al-Khalili guides us through the work of the engineers and innovators of the Golden Age of science (9th - 14th centuries).

Chemistry
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5. Chemistry
25 mins

In a time when mysticism and sorcery were used to explain complex chemical processes and reactions, 8th and 9th century scholars like Jabir ibn Hayyan and Al Razi started to apply a rigorous scientific approach to their observations of the world around them.

Medicine
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6. Medicine
25 mins

Life-saving medical research, the workings of the human heart and the most comprehensive medical text of the medieval world - in the final episode of this series, Jim Al-Khalili delves into developments in the field of medicine and looks at how healers and scientists from the medieval Islamic world contributed to the field.