Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf

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Work in the observatorium of Taqi ad-Din

Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf ash-Shami al-Asadi (Arabic: تقي الدين محمد بن معروف الشامي, Modern Turkish: Takiyuddin or Taki) (1526–1585) was an Ottoman Turkish[1][2] Muslim polymath: He was the author of more than ninety books on a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, clocks, engineering, mathematics, mechanics, optics and natural philosophy.[citation needed] In 1574 the Ottoman Sultan Murād III invited Taqī ad-Dīn to build the Istanbul observatory. Using his exceptional knowledge in the mechanical arts, Taqī ad-Dīn constructed instruments like huge armillary and mechanical clocks that he used in his observations of the Great Comet of 1577. He also used European celestial and terrestrial globes that were delivered to Istanbul in gift-exchange. The major work that resulted his work in the observatory is titled The tree of ultimate knowledge [in the end of time or the world] in the Kingdom of the Revolving Spheres: The astronomical tables of the King of Kings [Murād III](Sidrat al-muntah al-afkar fi malkūt al-falak al-dawār– al-zij al-Shāhinshāhi). The work was prepared according to the results of the observations carried out in Egypt and Istanbul in order to correct and complete Ulugh Beg’s Zij as-Sultani. The first 40 pages of the work deal with calculations, followed by discussions of astronomical clocks, heavenly circles, and information about three eclipses which he observed at Cairo and Istanbul. For corroborating data of other observations of eclipses in other locale like Daud ar-Riyyadi (David the Mathematician), David Ben-Shushan of Salonika. According to the Habsburg ambassador, Salomon Schweigger a charlatan who deceived Sultan Murad III and had him spent enormous resources.[3]

Taqi ad-Din's method of finding coordinates of stars was reportedly more precise than those of his contemporaries, Tycho Brahe and Nicolas Copernicus. Brahe is thought to have been aware of Taqi ad-Din's work.[2]

In 1551, Taqi al-Din described a steam turbine with the practical application of rotating a spit.

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  1. ^ " Chief Astronomer Taqi al-Din was born to a family of Turkish descent in Damascus." Hoffmann, Dieter; İhsanoğlu, Ekmeleddin; Djebbar, Ahmed; Günergun, Feza. Science, technology, and industry in the Ottoman world in Volume 6 of Proceedings of the XXth International Congress of History of Science p. 19. Publisher Brepols, 2000. ISBN 2-503-51095-7
  2. ^ a b Ágoston, Gábor; Masters, Bruce Alan. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire Infobase Publishing, 2009. p. 552 ISBN 0-8160-6259-5
  3. ^ Avner Ben-Zaken, "The Revolving Planets and the Revolving Clocks: Circulating Mechanical Objects in the Mediterranean", History of Science, xlix 2010. pp. 125-148.

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