This book contains the contributor’s presentations at a 2015 conference to celebrate the legacy of Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040)—specifically, his philosophical, mathematical and experimental works as contained in the first three extant books of his Book of Optics.

For readers who are not familiar with the translations and extensive scholarly commentary of A. I. Sabra, and A. Mark Smith, this book is a recommended introduction. The excellent chapter on physiological optics is comprehensive and makes a strong argument that Ibn al-Haytham is indeed the founder of physiological optics.

Other chapters ask why Islamic science declined and never developed into modern science, although they defer their discussion of the question. But new international collaborations such as the SESAME Synchrotron light source near Amman, Jordan, and new national educational reforms in Arab countries promise to promote education and innovation in optics, and become a lasting tribute to the great pioneering works of Ibn al-Haytham.

Review by Barry R. Masters, Fellow of AAAS, OSA and SPIE.

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or OSA.