Questions tagged [logarithm]

In mathematics, the logarithm is the inverse function to exponentiation.

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Historically, was logarithmic function ever used to determine anything other than direction and scale of a vector?

In nearly all areas of mathematics, logarithmic function applied to various objects where it is defined, produces either direction data or scale data of the object. Are there any examples of ...
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Why did John Napier use logós ‘ratio’, to coin “logarithm”?

I agree that logarithms are numbers, and Napier chose arithmós reasonably. But why did Napier pick Greek logós ‘ratio’? I don't see a ratio in this definition of the logarithm in James Stewart, ...
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What astronomy efforts required multiplication of large numbers around 1600?

I'm reading an article about the history of logarithms and it says: One problem that was plaguing people at the time, especially astronomers, was arithmetic. Astronomical calculations required the ...
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Who was the first person to notice logarithms of negatives numbers and for what reason?

Who was the first person to notice logarithms of negatives numbers and why? When did they first arise naturally? I thought I saw somewhere that it had to do with integration but I can't find it ...
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How does Charles Babbage's Difference Engine solve his quest for automating Log Tables?

At the London Science Museum, we see a model built in 1999 of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No.2 based on the plans he left: We know that Charles Babbage wrote a book of log tables: In doing ...
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Did Charles Babbage lay out his log table like this?

We read that Charles Babbage was interested in building a machine to tabulate polynomial functions. This came from writing a book of log tables. Here we see an example of how to use a log table: My ...