Diagram of the human eye, 1572.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 1572 Latin edition of 'Opticae Thesaurus' by Alhazen (c 965-1039). Arab scientist Alhazen (pseudonym of Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham) is considered the 'father of modern optics'. Born in Basra, Iraq, he spent most of his life in Spain, conducting research in optics, mathematics, medicine and physics. 'Opticae Thesaurus' includes the first accurate description of the various parts of the eye and the first scientific explanation of the proces of vision.