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Default 16th century

16th century

1500s [architecture, engineering, urban planning] The city of Shibam is built in Yemen. This city is regarded as the "oldest skyscraper-city in the world", the "Manhattan of the desert", and the earliest example of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. Shibam was made up of over 500 tower houses, each one rising 5 to 9 storeys high, with each floor being an apartment occupied by a single family. The city has the tallest mudbrick buildings in the world, with some of them being over 100 feet (over 30 meters) high, thus being the first high-rise (which need to be at least 75 feet or 23 meters) apartment buildings and tower blocks.

1500 - 1528 [astronomy, astrophysics, physics] Al-Birjandi continued the debate on the Earth's rotation after Ali al-Qushji. In his analysis of what might occur if the Earth were rotating, he develops a hypothesis similar to Galileo Galilei's notion of "circular inertia", which he described in an observational test (as a response to one of Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi's arguments): "The small or large rock will fall to the Earth along the path of a line that is perpendicular to the plane (sath) of the horizon; this is witnessed by experience (tajriba). And this perpendicular is away from the tangent point of the Earth’s sphere and the plane of the perceived (hissi) horizon. This point moves with the motion of the Earth and thus there will be no difference in place of fall of the two rocks."

1500 - 1550 [astronomy] Shams al-Din al-Khafri, the last major astronomer of the hay'a tradition, was the first to realize that "all mathematical modeling had no physical truth by itself and was simply another language with which one could describe the physical observed reality."

1551 [engineering] Taqi al-Din invents the steam turbine in Ottoman Egypt. He first described it in The Sublime Methods of Spiritual Machines, which describes the use of his steam turbine as the prime mover for the first steam-powered and self-rotating spit.

1551 - 1574 [astronomy, engineering] Taqi al-Din invents a rudimentary telescope, as described in his Book of the Light of the Pupil of Vision and the Light of the Truth of the Sights around 1574. He describes it as an instrument that makes objects located far away appear closer to the observer, and states that the instrument helps to see distant objects in detail by bringing them very close. He also states that he wrote another earlier treatise explaining the way this instrument is made and used, suggesting that he invented it some time before 1574.

1556 - 1559 [engineering] Taqi al-Din publishes The Brightest Stars for the Construction of Mechanical Clocks, which describes the first mechanical alarm clock, the first spring-powered astronomical clock, and the first clock and mechanical watch to first measure time in minutes.

1559 [engineering] Taqi al-Din invents a 'Monobloc' pump with a six cylinder engine. It was a hydropowered water-raising machine incorporating valves, suction and delivery pipes, piston rods with lead weights, trip levers with pin joints, and cams on the axle of a water-driven scoop-wheel.

1577 [astronomy, engineering] Taqi al-Din builds the Istanbul
observatory of al-Din, the largest astronomical observatory in its time, with the patronage of the Ottoman Sultan Murad III.

1577 - 1580 [astronomy, engineering] At the Istanbul observatory of al-Din, Taqi al-Din carries out astronomical observations. He produces a zij (named Unbored Pearl) and astronomical catalogues that are more accurate than those of his contemporaries, Tycho Brahe and Nicolaus Copernicus. Taqi al-Din is able to achieve this with his new invention of the "observational clock", which he describes as "a mechanical clock with three dials which show the hours, the minutes, and the seconds." This is the first clock to measure time in seconds, and he uses it for astronomical purposes, specifically for measuring the right ascension of the stars. This is considered one of the most important innovations in 16th century practical astronomy, as previous clocks were not accurate enough to be used for astronomical purposes. He further improves his observational clock, using only one dial to represent the hours, minutes and seconds, describing it as "a mechanical clock with a dial showing the hours, minutes and seconds and we divided every minute into five seconds." Taqi al-Din is also the first astronomer to employ a decimal point notation in his observations rather than the sexagesimal fractions used by his contemporaries and predecessors.

1579 [civil engineering] The first prefabricated homes and movable structure are invented by Akbar the Great

1580 [astronomy] The Istanbul observatory of al-Din is destroyed by Sultan Murad III.

• 1582 [military technology] Fathullah Shirazi, a Persian-Indian polymath and mechanical engineer who worked for Akbar the Great in the Mughal Empire, invented the autocannon, the earliest multi-shot machine gun. As opposed to the polybolos and repeating crossbows used earlier in ancient Greece and China, respectively, Shirazi's rapid-firing gun had multiple gun barrels that fired hand cannons loaded with gunpowder. Another cannon-related machine he created could clean sixteen gun barrels simultaneously, and was operated by a cow.

1582 [technology] Fathullah Shirazi invents a corn-griding carriage, which can be used to transport passengers and for grinding corn.

1589 - 1590 [astronomy, engineering, metallurgy] The seamless celestial globe invented by Muslim metallurgists and instrument-makers in Mughal India, specifically Lahore and Kashmir, is considered to be one of the most remarkable feats in metallurgy and engineering. All globes before and after this were seamed, and in the 20th century, it was believed by metallurgists to be technically impossible to create a metal globe without any seams. It was in the 1980s, however, that Emilie Savage-Smith discovered several celestial globes without any seams in Lahore and Kashmir. The earliest was invented in Kashmir by the Muslim metallurgist Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in 998 AH (1589-1590 CE) during Akbar the Great's reign; he invented the method of lost-wax casting in order to produce these globes. 21 such globes were produced, and these remain the only examples of seamless metal globes. These seamless celestial globes are considered to be an unsurpassed feat in metallurgy, hence some consider this achievement to be comparable to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza which was considered an unsurpassed feat in architecture until the 19th century.

Last edited by Shooting Star; Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 02:40 AM.
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