Ibn al-Haytham Raytracing Experiment Home

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Using raytracing to visualise the optics experiments of Ibn al-Haytham

By Tom Bickley, Department of Physics, Durham University. Summer placement July/August 2021.

In al-Haytham’s books of optics, many experimental setups are described in great detail to verify the suggested theories on the nature of light. However, few contain diagrams, and little work has been done since to visualise what the results may look like. In this project, raytracing software called POV-Ray was used to construct and render images of several of the experiments proposed by al-Haytham.

Click the links below to view the rendered scenes:

Book I

Book III

With thanks to my supervisors, Tom Lancaster, Nader El-Bizri, and Giles Gasper.

Copyright © Tom Bickley and Tom Lancaster, Durham University.

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