Al-Khwarizmi is one of the most famous astronomers, geologist, and mathematician at the time of the Golden Era of Muslims. He is also the inventor of many mathematical methods and a branch of math, called Algebra. Furthermore, he was the first to use decimals to express the fractions.
Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, nicknamed as Al-Khwarizmi, belongs to a Persian family from Khorasan – now located in Uzbekistan. The exact date of his birth is not clear, but it is normally considered to be 780. There is very little information about his early life, but it is clear that he was one of the brilliant students in Baghdad, Iraq.
Baghdad was the city of knowledge at the time of the Golden Era of Muslims. There was a large institute in Baghdad at the time of Al-Khwarizmi, called Dar-Al-Hikmat (House of Wisdom). Al-Khwarizmi was one of the many researchers working in the House of Wisdom as mathematician, geologist, and astronomer.
He made most of his discoveries and scientific contribution in the period of 813 to 833. He was also an excellent translator and has translated so many books into the Arabic language from other languages, such as Sanskrit and Greek. He has died at the age of 70 years in 850.
Discoveries and Contributions
Al-Khwarizmi has done many discoveries in the field of mathematics, astronomy, and geology. Some of his main discoveries and contribution are:
The most famous work of Al-Khwarizmi was the development of algebra, a branch of math that deals with symbols and the operations between them. Algebra is a very important field in mathematics and forms the foundation of modern science and technology. Al-Khwarizmi defined the algebra in his famous book of mathematics, called Hisab Al-Jabr Wa-Al-Muqabala. This book was very famous and was translated in many languages, before the dawn of Europeans Era, to teach and learn algebra. The book has also discussed the solution of the first-degree and second-degree equations; both analytically and geometrically. It also discussed some methods of solving algebraic problems.
Some other Contributions
- Algorithms – Algorithm is an Arabic word which is now used to define a process in which certain steps are performed for the solution of a problem; especially in the computer The concept of algorithms was first given by Al-Khwarizmi to solve certain problems in defined steps of calculations. Today, computer widely use algorithms to solve a wide variety of problems and decision making. Due to the introduction of the concept of algorithms, Al-Khwarizmi is sometimes referred to as the father of computer science.
- Improvements in Sundials – Sundial is an instrument which shows time with the help of the position of the Sun. The sun forms a shadow of the pointer on a plate which contains marks of the time period. The shadow of the pointer rotates on the marks when the sun changes its position. Al-Khwarizmi improved the design of sundials and made them a universal instrument for checking the time in any part of the world.
- Map Development – Al-Khwarizmi developed an accurate map of that time with the help of 70 geographers.
- The Soviet Union issued a stamp in 1983 on which image of Al-Khwarizmi was engraved.
- The Amir Kabir University of Tehran in Iran has placed the statue of Al-Khwarizmi.
- Al-Khwarizmi became the head of Dar-ul-Hikmat (House of Wisdom) at the time of Muslim Caliph Mamun.