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Logarithms and their use in the real world

  1. Jan 26, 2014 #1
    Hello, I have been studying Logarithms in University. I understand it's how many of ONE number to get another number, and I see how it is rearranged to find these "missing" links. But maybe I am overlooking something, but I don't quite see the bigger picture here with how to use Logarithms. How can they be applied to something in real life? If someone could present a problem and then a solution to how logarithms could be used in real life that would be fantastic.

    Thank You
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    There are lots of situations where the rate of something depends on the quantity ... i.e. of form: ##\dot y(t) = ky(t)##

    Biological processes like hearing and eyesight are based on logarithmic relations.
    There are also thermodynamic processes that bear logarithmic relations.

    It can also be a good tool - lots of situations where plotting the the log of some quantity against another gets a line - lines are usually easier to regress to, so it saves work.

    If you google for "logarithms in nature" you get a lot of stuff:
    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080529/full/news.2008.866.html
    http://enjoyingmath.pbworks.com/w/page/31757192/NATURE and LOGARITHM
    http://goldenratiomyth.weebly.com/the-logarithmic-spiral.html
     
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