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Christoph Scheiner

Mindelheim 1575 - Neisse 1650


At an early age Christoph Scheiner (1575-1650), mathematician and astronomer, entered a Jesuit Order in Ingolstadt, to which he later returned as a professor of mathematics and Hebrew language. After various trips, taking him to Rome and elsewhere, he became head of the Jesuit College in Neisse/Silesia in 1617.
His main scientific work, entitled "Oculus, hoc est fundamentum opticum" (Innsbruck 1619), is one of the decisive landmark publications on the physiology of the human eye, and already contained basic findings on the concept of accommodation, which has not lost any of its validity to date. In this work Christoph Scheiner proofs that the retina is the actual organ of vision and that the crystalline lens and the vitreous body only serve to refract the light rays in such a way that the object we see is displayed on the retina.
Christoph Scheiner's studies in astronomy mainly concerned the surface of the sun and in this context the observation of sunspots, which lead to a long argument about priorities between him and Galilei from 1612.
A summary of his examinations was published in Bracciano in 1630 entitled "Rosa ursina, sive sol ex admirando facularum suarum phaenomeno varius" with a dedication to his patron the duke of Bracciano.


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