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The history of logarithms

  1. Jul 6, 2005 #1
    is anyone able to recommend a book or a site for a highschool senior that explains how logarithmic tables are made and its connection to ln/e.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2005 #2


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    Homework Helper

    From a modern prospective we want logs to have this property
    for all x,y and for the function to be a bijection (1-1 and onto)
    This is called an isomorphism. It allows us to do multiplication in terms of addition. This desired property does not define a function as many functions have this property. Thus we also require log(b)=1 for some number b called the base. When logarithums were invented modern prospective was not availiable so the functions napier defined were not as nice
    in modern notation.
    The first log tables we calculated doing multiplications with prime numbers and noting that the NapLog if ploted has
    NapLog(10^7)=0 and 1/slope=N*Naplog(10^7-1)
    As logs got popular later tables used more convienent bases like e (natural log) and 10 (common log). Calculation of log tables then used more and more methods from calculus. Later computers were used to calculate tables. Now calculators and computers have largely made tables obsolete.
    see this site
  4. Jul 7, 2005 #3
    lurflurf,are u new here,i have read series of ur post u seem good,but i just noticed u not quite long ago,i'd luv to know u
  5. Jul 7, 2005 #4


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    Gold Member

    e: The Story of a Number by Eli Maor. I read it last year and it covers exactly the information you are looking for.
  6. Jul 18, 2005 #5
    thank you jma i'll check out that book.
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