Ibn Sina AKA ‘Avicenna’ Influential Polymath & Early Mechanical Theorist

In this blog post we are looking at the influential Persian Polymath Ibn Sina, also known in the West as Avicenna. Among many of his wide works, he defined the relationship between inclination, force and projectile. It was this early thinking from Ibn Sina that later shaped further more in depth theories that developed the understanding of forces.

This blog post was written by Adnane Rifai from TecQuipment.

Ibn Sina was a physician, astronomer, and writer, but he is most well-known for his work in medicine, known as one of the fathers of modern medicine.

Born in 980 in Persia during the Islamic golden age, in what is known today as Uzbekistan, Ibn Sina settled and worked in Tehran for most of his adult life until his death in 1037.

Ibn Sina’s work on medicine is a five-volume medical encyclopaedia in which he dealt with new fields of medicine and biology. His book “The rules of medicine” proved to be a majorly influential medical textbook up to the 18th century and is still a reference for medical scholars.

Ibn Sina’s interests went beyond medicine. Other work includes The Book of Healing where he developed the theory of motion in mechanics. It was in this, that he defined the relationship between inclination (now more commonly referred to as ‘impetus’), force and a projectile. This resulted in the conclusion that inclination triggered motion and subsequently it was a force to be considered in a similar way as resistance is a force on motion.

Practical Teaching Equipment to Test Theory

  • For the practical study of Forces TecQuipment offers the Forces Kit, from the Engineering Science range. This allows students to practically test the theory surrounding the centre of gravity of shapes and the relationship between angles and coplanar forces, using force triangles.
  • For an introduction to Bow’s Notation, force triangles, polygons and Link polygons TecQuipment provides the Equilibrium of Forces experiment in the Statics Fundamentals range.

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