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Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 27–35 | Cite as

Christoph Scheiner's eye studies

  • Franz Daxecker
History of Ideas in Optholmology and Visual Sciences

Abstract

Christoph Scheiner was born in 1573 or 1575. In 1595 he entered into the Order of the Jesuits; he died in 1650. In 1619 his book Oculus, dealing with the optics of the eye, appeared in Innsbruck. The invention of the telescope was of utmost importance for progress in astronomical and physical research. Scheiner himself built telescopes and discovered the sunspots. As a result, an unpleasant priority dispute with Galilei ensued. From 1624 onwards, Scheiner was in Rome, where his main work Rosa Ursina was published in 1630. A part of this book deals with the physiological optics of the eye as well. Some of his discoveries and experiments are taken from these two books: determination of the radius of curvature of the cornea, discovery of the nasal exit of the optic nerve, increase in the radius of curvature of the lens in case of accommodation, Schemer's procedure (double images with ametropia), refractive indices of various parts of the eye, Scheiner's experiment. Without any doubt, Christoph Scheiner belongs to the foremost scientists of the first half of the 17th century.

Key words

History of ophthalmology physiological optics Schemer's experiment 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz Daxecker
    • 1
  1. 1.University Eye ClinicInnsbruckAustria

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