Third International Summer School
Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin Research Foundation for the History of Science in Islam
August 22nd - 29th, 2014

Workshop Perfect Compass or Al-birkar al-tamm

The workshop is dedicated to a wonderfull object of the museum: a conic-section cutter, a perfect compass. The catalog refers to Abû Sahl al-Kûhî (10th century). Especially for this workshop, we made a large wooden version that allows us to explore this instrument. We pay attention to Abû Sahl al-Kûhî and other scholars, their motivation to develop susch an instrument, take a look at copies of the original manuscript and summarize the current academic research. The mathematical and geometrical backgrounds of the perfect compass are explained too. Final part of the workshop is a hands/on training with special drawing paper that supports easy drawing of conic sections.


We made an animation with Geogebra to give an impression of this perfect compass, but it is not difficult to create one yourself.

grote versie geogebra applet


Links at the web

pdf: catalogus blz 149

pdf: Call for Papers

pdf: Report