refraction

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Medieval stained glass, eyeglasses, and modern glass

By |2018-05-27T00:13:12+00:00September 5th, 2017|Medieval, Modern, Science|

Medieval glass: Islamic glass (probably Iraq, 800s AD, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York) Medieval glass-making By the 1100s, glass-making was expanding again from West Asia; there were glassworks further east at Kuva in Central Asia (modern Uzbekistan). Glass-making also moved westward: by 1000 AD, Venice was a growing center of glass manufacturing. In West Africa, local [...]

Why is the sky blue? Weather science

By |2017-08-20T23:42:12+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Blue sky with cirrus clouds This is an easy question to ask but the answer is pretty hard. The light that comes from the Sun to Earth looks white, but really it is made up of all different colors of light mixed together. You can see this by using a glass of water or a glass prism to break up [...]

Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi's diagram of linear motion from circular motion In the Early Middle Ages, before the formation of the Islamic Empire, Buddhists ran the world's biggest universities. One was in India, at Nalanda. Another was in what is now Pakistan, at Taxila. In Egypt, the University of Alexandria was still an important center of learning, too. Most serious scholars went to [...]

Ancient Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:17:22+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Eclipse of the sun The art of astrology, the study of the stars in order to predict future events, and to interpret people's characters, was already very advanced before the Greeks began to interest themselves in the stars. The Egyptians and especially the Mesopotamians had done a lot of scientific observations and had named the constellations of stars, and [...]