Rampant Scotland Directory

Scottish Inventions and Discoveries
- Logarithms - John Napier (1550-1617)

Logarithms were first propounded in 1614, in a book entitled "Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio," by John Napier. (Joost Bürgi in Switzerland independently discovered logarithms, but did not publish his discovery until four years after Napier). Before the invention of calculators and computers, they made difficult calculations more feasible, helping to advance astronomy, surveying, navigation and mathematics. Napier also used some of his mathematical talents in theology and believed that his book predicting the Apocalypse was his most important work. He was convinced the end of the world would be in 1688 or 1700 - but died in 1617, so was not around to find that he was wrong on that one!

Use the "Back" button on your browser or click here to return to the Index of "Scottish Inventions"

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line