When Islamic civilization held the world, Muslim engineers turned out to have mastered computer technology. What is certain is that the technology developed by scientists in that era was not a digital computer, but an analog computer. The term analog computer, according to Wikipedia, is used to describe a counter that works on an analogue (dual) level from a digital level.
Analog computers are also often defined as computers that process data based on qualitative signals, or analog signals, to measure variables such as voltage, sound speed, air resistance, temperature, earthquake measurements and others. This computer is usually used to present a situation, such as for thermometers, radars, light power and others.
The forerunner of the use of analog computer technology has begun to develop long before Islam came. According to experts, the Antikythera Mechanism is the first analog computer used by human civilization. The tool developed by Greek civilization since 100 years BC was not only used to predict the movement of the sun and moon, but was also used to plan the Olympics.
By using three-dimensional scanner technology, experts found that a tool consisting of numeric chakra made of brass and the drive wheel was also used to determine the date of the Olympics. On one of the drive wheels was scratched the words Isthmia, Olympia, Nemea and Pythia - part of the preliminary match in the Panhellic competition.
During the Caliphate era, analog computer technology was mastered and developed by Muslim engineers. A number of equipment using analog computer principles have been found by Islamic scientists. The tools, generally used for various scientific activities. In its golden age, Muslim astronomers managed to find various types of astrolabe.
The astronomical equipment was used to answer 1001 problems related to astronomy, astrology, horoscopes, navigation, surveys, timing, Qibla direction and prayer times. According to D De S Price (1984) in his book entitled "A History of Calculating Machines", Abu Raihan Al-Biruni was the first scientist to find the first mechanical astrolabe tool to determine the sun-moon calendar.
Astrolabe using the gear was discovered by Al-Biruni in 1000 AD Shortly thereafter, Al-Biruni discovered astronomical equipment that used the principle of analog computers known as Planisphere - an astrolabe star map. In 1015 another analog computer was discovered by a Muslim scientist in Islamic Spain named Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Al-Zarqali.
Arzachel, as Westerners used to call Al-Zarqali, managed to find the Equatorium - a star counter. Other analog computer equipment developed by A-Zarqali named Saphaea. This is the first latitude-independent universal astrolabe. The astrolabe does not depend on the latitude of the observer and can be used anywhere in the world.
Two centuries later, a prominent Muslim engineer named Al-Jazari was able to create a "castle clock" - an astronomical clock. The clock found in 1206 is believed to be the first programmable analog computer. Al-Jazari's artificial astronomical clock is able to display the zodiac, the orbit of the sun and moon and the forms of the crescent moon.
Another analog computer equipment in the form of an astrolabe was also found by Abi Bakar Isfahan in 1235 AD The astronomical equipment created by astronomers from Isfahan, Iran was a mechanical calendar computer. Another Muslim scientist named Al-Sijzi was also noted to have succeeded in finding astronomical equipment using the working principle of analog computers. The tool is called Zuraqi - a heliocentric astrolabe.
Ibn Samh - the leading astronomer in the 11th century AD - was also noted in the history of Islamic science as one of the inventors of analog computer equipment in the form of a mechanical astrolabe. A century later, the legendary Muslim scientist Sharaf Al-Din Al-Tusi created a linear astolabe.
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