Abuíl Fath `Abd al-Rahman al-Khazini

d.1121

 

Al-Khazini was an astronomer and physician in Persia at the beginning of the 6th/12th century. Little is known about his life, other than originally he was a young Greek slave of `Ali b. Muhammad, treasurer of the court in Marw, who ensured that he received an excellent education.

 

His works include:

al-Zidj al mu`tabar al-sandjari al-sultani, astronomical tables based on personal observations.

 

Risala fi Ďl-alat, on astronomical instruments.

 

Kitab Muzan al-hikma, written in 515, was a basic work on the hydrostatic balance, classifying according to the number of scales or pans. Al-Khaziniís hydrostatic balance was superior in its accuracy to all those constructed by his predecessors. Weight, according to his definition, is the force inherent in solid bodies which causes them to move, of their own accord, in a straight line towards the center of the earth and towards this centre alone; this force, in turn, depends upon the density of the body. His tables of specific weight are fairly accurate and he understood something of the influence of temperature on density.