Famous Personalities of India : Al Biruni
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Al-Biruni (973-1050?), Arab scientist, who wrote on a wide variety of scientific subjects. His most important contributions as a scientist were his keen observations of natural phenomena, rather than theories. Sometimes called "the master," he became one of the best-known Muslim scientists of his time.

Al-Biruni was born in what is now Uzbekistan. At the time, it was part of a vast region called Persia. Al-Biruni's records show that he wrote 113 works, but most of them have been lost. His subjects included astronomy, astrology, chronology, geography, mathematics, mechanics, medicine, pharmacology, meteorology, mineralogy, history, religion, philosophy, literature, and magic. One or more books on most of these subjects have survived. Al-Biruni's important works include Canon, his most comprehensive study of astronomy; Densities, which records specific gravities of various metals, liquids, and gems; Astrolabe, one of the most valuable descriptions of that astronomical instrument; Pharmacology, which contains more than 700 descriptions of drugs; and India, his best-known work, in which he used his knowledge of Sanskrit to describe Indian customs, languages, science, and geography.

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