The Medieval Islamic world, between 8th to the mid 13th century, is known for its developments in academic knowledge. Particularly in astronomy. Many stellar objects still derive their name from Arabic names. There were also advances in optics (e.g. al-Haytham/Alhazen) and kinematics, which were later explored or rediscovered during European renaissance science. Mathematics (e.g. al-Khwarizmi), alchemy (e.g. Jabir ibn Hayyan/Geber), engineering (e.g al-Jazari) and fluid dynamics (e.g. al-Biruni) took a boost too.

What I have never seen are particular advances in thermodynamics or electromagnetic theory from this period. I am putting aside here developments in optics and philosophical discussions on atomism.

Early Greek hypotheses, included the concept of the pre-Socratic 4 elements (later expanded into chemistry by Geber). As stated in Wikipedia's history of thermodynamics, the concept of fire element is like the precursor of phlogiston and caloric fluid theories. The name "electron" is related to Greek name for amber, as they were the first to record the concept electric forces (same for magnetic forces). The Ancient Greeks also first developed ideas about the void and atomism.

I know Medieval Islamic scholars advanced much in alchemy/chemistry. But were there any particular advances in the thermodynamics and electromagnetism, concepts like heat, pressure, microscopic origin of temperature/pressure, perpetual motion, current, magnets, charges and so on?

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    $\begingroup$ According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetism#History, according to Schmidl, Petra G. (1996–1997). "Two Early Arabic Sources On The Magnetic Compass". Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. 1: 81–132, "In 1282, the properties of magnets and the dry compasses were discussed by Al-Ashraf, a Yemeni physicist, astronomer, and geographer" $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2021 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ @kimchilover Interesting. Would he probably be the same as this AlAshraf? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ashraf_Umar_II $\endgroup$
    – Mauricio
    Aug 1, 2021 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ I suppose so. The paper cited by both WO articles, uib.no/jais/v001ht/01-081-132schmidl1.htm , is pretty interesting. Curious that the WP page I cite did not link to the one you cite. $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2021 at 14:22


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