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The Origin of Logarithms
If one took the time to contemplate the functions used casually everyday in classrooms around the world, one may come to the realization that these functions have revolutionized life. Without the ability to multiply, divide, rise to a power, and take a root of, people would be completely ignorant of how of what makes the earth go around. These are not just mathematical functions; their magnitude could be appraised as phenomenal. The logarithm, being one of the most perplexing of these phenomenons taken for granted, was discovered by mathematicians John Napier and Henry Briggs in the early fifteenth century. Napier felt the need to explain his brilliant discovery in the form of a book: Mirifici logarithmorum canonis description. Logarithms were originally required for astronomical purposes because of the unavoidable computations of large numbers. Thus the logarithm significantly reduced time wasted on other functions. …
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