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Biographical Data :

Name :Jabir Ibn Hayyan
Period :c721 - 803
Biographical detail : Generally known as the father of chemistry.

Jabir was a Court Physician in Caliph Harun al-Rashid. He established himself as one of the leading scientist while he practiced medicine and alchemy in Kufa around 776.

Jabir is famous for writing more than 100 monumental treatises, of which 22 deal with chemistry. He introduced experimental investigation in alchemy, creating the momentum for the modern chemistry. He devoted his efforts to the development of basic chemical methods and the study of various mechanisms of chemical reactions and thus helped evolve chemistry as a science from the legends of alchemy.

Jabirís contribution of fundamental importance to chemistry includes perfection of scientific techniques such as crystallisation, distillation, calcinations, sublimation and evaporation, besides developing several instruments for conducting these experiments.

Jabirís major practical achievement was the discovery of minerals and acids, which he prepared for the first time in his alembic. His invention of the alembic made the distillation process easy and systematic. Among his various breakthroughs are the preparation of nitric, hydrochloric, citric and tartaric acid.

Jabir was a pioneer in development of a number of applied chemical processes. His contribution include the development of steel, preparation of various metals, prevention of rusting, lettering in gold, use of manganese dioxide in glassmaking, dyeing of cloth and tanning of leather, varnishing of waterproof cloth, identification of paints and greases. In addition, he developed aqua regia to dissolve gold. His experimental ideas paved the way for now commonly known classification of substances as metals, non-metals and volatile substances.

Jabirís Kitab al-Kimya, and Kitab al Sabíeen were translated in Latin and then into English. These translations were popular in Europe for several centuries and have influenced the evolution of modern chemistry. Several technical terms introduced by Jabir, such as alkali, are found in various European languages and have become part of scientific vocabulary.

Jabir whose full name was Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan was born at Tus, Iran.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin)


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