Monthly Archives: August 2013

How to Use Log Tables

In previous posts, I pointed out how logarithms took the hardship out of arithmetic in the days before electronic calculators. However, the use of logs hinged crucially on access to an accurate and usable set of logarithm tables. This is … Continue reading

Posted in logarithms, tables | Leave a comment

Logs make an Impact: Kepler’s Third Law

It was only a few short years after Napier’s discovery of logarithms that they made their first, and lasting, impact on the sciences. They were instrumental in uncovering the most important of Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion. The German astronomer … Continue reading

Posted in historical, logarithms | Leave a comment

Napier’s Discovery of Logs

Logarithms were discovered by the Scottish mathematician John Napier in the early 1600’s. Napier was looking for ways to speed up arithmetic, and also developed what are now called Napier’s bones towards the same purpose. But we’ll focus on logs … Continue reading

Posted in historical, logarithms | Leave a comment

The Arithmetic of Logs

Logarithms are as a good place to start as any to start a maths blog. As they progress in mathematics, everyone eventually encounters logarithms. Nowadays these are introduced as a purely algebraic tool, useful for bringing variables down from powers … Continue reading

Posted in computation, logarithms | Leave a comment