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Al Khorezmi – the great scientist of the Middle Ages

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Khorezm is the cradle of the largest scientists whose scientific work is a colossal contribution to world science.
It is difficult to overestimate the grandeur of the contribution of Khorezm scientists to science. The widest erudition, the true encyclopedic nature are combined in their creativity with an exceptional depth of study. The Mamun Academy was also not an accidental organization.
This scientific organization differs in the history of science by creative courage and originality, the formulation of problems and the invariable novelty of the tasks being solved.
For centuries the development of world science has outstripped the teachings of thinkers-Khorezmians, one of which is al-Khorezmi. For a long time it can be said about the vast amount of concrete knowledge and private decisions made by al-Khorezmi in science. In the person of al-Khorezmi we see one of the greatest scientists of the early Middle Ages. He was brought up by the ancient culture of our country, the culture of the ancient peoples of Uzbekistan.
The influence of Al-Khorezmi's heritage on the development of scientific knowledge proved to be so strong that for twelve centuries the interest of the entire world scientific community has not faded away. Literally in recent decades, in connection with the 1000th anniversary of the Mamun Academy in many countries, including in our country, a number of publications devoted to various aspects of creativity of the great Khorezmians have been implemented.
The outstanding value of al-Khorezmi in the history of science and world civilization is that he created fundamental works on the most important branches of knowledge 12 years ago: arithmetic, algebra, geometry, astronomy, geography, history. His scientific activity essentially covered the whole aggregate of medieval knowledge. One has only to be amazed how, twelve centuries ago, in the harsh conditions of continuous civil strives and devastating wars, the domination of despotism, with still weakly developed productive forces, he managed to rise so high above modern science and do so much for the science of future centuries.
It should be emphasized that all scientific activity of the scientist, his scientific feat, wherever the scientist worked, in what cities and lands he was, are based not only on the achievements of science in different countries, but primarily on material achievements and cultural traditions of native Khorezm.
Central Asian civilization with its ancient highly developed traditions of agriculture based on artificial irrigation, urban culture, multisectoral handicraft industries and the art of mining in ancient times brought to life the rapid development of science, especially its mathematical, astrophysical, geographical and social sectors, so necessary in everyday life and the work of a farmer, a city-artisan and a merchant, an architect and a builder.
Whatever branches of science al-Khorezmi was involved in, his contribution to this science was revolutionary and turning, he became the founder of algebra as an independent part of mathematics. Thanks to al-Khorezmi, the decimal counting system was widely used. Now in the world science the word «algorithm» is very common. This is the Latinized transcription of the name of al-Khorezmi himself.
A colossal contribution to world astronomy is the work of al-Khorezmi «Zidj», where the methods developed in India were explained in details, as well as expanded. Here, for the first time in the literature in Arabic, a table of sinuses was given and a tangent was introduced. The author of the first geographic work «The Book of the Picture of the Earth» was al-Khorezmi, whose work, according to Acad. V.V. Bartold, marked the beginning of the eastern (Arab) geographical science. He also owns a work entitled «The Book of History», which was cited by many medieval authors.
Al-Khorezmi left considerable scientific heritage in other fields of applied knowledge.
Of course, astronomy could not achieve the aforesaid tremendous success without having precise instruments and tools.
In this direction, al-Khorezmi also led a productive scientific activity. Of the 12 scientific works, to instruments are devoted: «The book on the construction of astrolabe», «The book on actions with the help of astrolabe» and «The book on the solar clock».
Unfortunately, “The book on the construction of the astrolabe” has not been preserved and is known by references in “The Index of Sciences” of An-Nadim (X century) and other sources, so we do not have the opportunity to become acquainted with the design features of its astrolabe.
In the tractate «The book on actions with the help of astrolabe» there is no information about the design of this tool, although in the texts of al-Khorezmi describes two instruments, of which there are no special works — the compass and the sine — square. This circumstance can be regarded as an indirect confirmation of the fact that al-Khorezmi really had a tractate on the construction of an astrolabe.
The manuscript «Books on the action with the astrolabe of al-Khorezmi» was discovered in the Berlin Library (Stat. Ahlwardt? No. 5790) by E. Wiedemann in the 20s of the last century. In 1922 I. Frank published the translation of this tractate into German. The translation of this tractate into Russian prepared for the publication of G.P. Matvievskaya.
The tractate on the astrolabe consists of two parts: 1) «Constructing an astrolabe» with sections:
a) radius of parallels, b) tables, c) almucantars, and d) the shadows on the back of the astrolabe and 2. «The book on the actions with the astrolabe.»
Al-Beruni in his work «Monuments of past generations» (about 1000) so formed the requirements that the astronomer must satisfy. He believed that only those who, along with the astronomical theory know the astronomical instruments, can figure them out and handle them, can achieve a high accuracy of the results of observations.
Al-Khorezmi satisfied all these conditions for two centuries before al-Beruni. He not only knew the astronomical tools, but also gave them a description. Al-Khorezmi took part in observations and, consequently, knew how to fix them. He considered it necessary to check it before working with the tool, so he knew how to handle them.
Al-Khorezmi not only gave instructions for checking and working with them in the works, but also developed a method for measuring the abovementioned parameters.
Al-Khorezmi had an extensive knowledge in various fields of science, in particular, in astronomy. His famous «Zij» was a guide for astronomers not only of the whole East, but also of Europe, as evidenced by the translation of «Zij» into Latin, performed by Adelard from Bath in 1126, i.d. 300 years after the appearance of the original.
The theory of the motion of the planets underlying this work is the result of the long development of theoretical astronomy. This work serves as a proof of which theorist-astronomer was al-Khorezmi.
Being a strong theorist and experimenter, who was at the source of precise instrumentation, al-Khorezmi could get such brilliant results in astronomy.
Al-Khorezmi heritage is studied by specialists of many branches of knowledge in various countries of the world.
Celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the Mamun Academy, Uzbekistan emphasizes the faith of the Uzbek scientific community to the humanistic traditions and ideals of the world, imprinted in the entire history of human civilization.
1.     Khayrullaev M.M., Bakhadirov R.M. Abu Abdullah Al-Khorezmi. M.Science, 1988
2.     Khasanov Kh. Scientists travellers. Т.Uzbekistan, 1981.
3.     Sokolovskaya Z.K. «The pre-telescopic period of the history of astronomical instruments. Role of Al-Khorezmi in the development of exact study of instruments in the Near and Middle East. Edited volume of Anniversary scientific conference devoted to 1200 anniversary of Mukhammad ibn Mussa al-Khorezmi. T. Science, 1985.
4.     Aleksandrovskaya O.A. The role of “The Book of the Picture of the Earth” of Al-Khorezmi in medieval geographic traditions.  Edited volume of Anniversary scientific conference devoted to 1200 anniversary of Mukhammad ibn Mussa al-Khorezmi. T. Science, 1985.
5.     Sirajdinov S.Kh., Matvievskaya G.P. Al-Khorezmi is the great mathematician and astronomer of the Middle Ages. M. Enlightment, 1983. 
6.     Tolstov S.P. Beruni and his time//Edited volume. Edit. AS of the USSR, M.-L. 1950.

Rakhmonov B.S. Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor

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