As the time comes to return to school many people will be tackling the vexed problem of logarithms. For me it is 60 years too late but I recently logged on to computer based maths lessons to try get back on top of what vexed me whilst at school.
This led me to discover Halifax man, Henry Briggs (1561-1630) a Yorkshireman and mathematician instrumental in the functionality of logarithms originally invented by John Napier. Common logarithms are sometimes known as Briggsian logarithms so if you struggle with them you know to blame that Yorkshire bloke. If in later life you benefit from logarithms then you now know who to thank.
Uses for Logarithms.
- Engineers use them to measure radioactive decay the brightness of stars and the decibels made by noisy like Lancastrians
- Logarithms can be used to measure earthquakes but we do not get many earthquakes in Yorkshire (fracking not with standing)
- Bankers and actuaries use them to calculate annuities and compound interest over long periods.
- Scientists use them modeling and medical analysis
- Mundanely your log will help to calculate the pH of a fluid so I may use that in my log on password.