He was a dedicated protestant that did as much as he

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time Napier was a strong influence in the church. He was a dedicated protestant that did as much as he possibly could to help the church out. Actually, in fact Napier started on is theology book before he started his book and invention of logarithms. Napier considered math more of a hobby and theology his life long work. Napier was always and intelligent child, he grew up in a high-class family. His father was Sir Archibald Napier. John Napier was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was born in a castle and later in life he built and lived in a castle of his own. He was so smart that he went to school at the early age of 13, attended the University of St. Andrew in Scotland. Many historians believe that he traveled Europe and studied at many different universities. When he traveled through Europe be developed a love for theology, his first book was a theology book titled “A Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of St. John”. At first the main intellectual interest was centered on religion, theology, and politics not really math and science. This book talked a book his protestant belief and the thoughts that he had about future wars between the protestants and Catholics. Those thoughts, the one in his book, stopped there, he still really believed in this idea but the line of work that he was in allowed him to do other things with his life. He did not have much more to say about theology, so he moved on to bigger and better things. He invented what is now logarithms, but he did not do it in the exactly conventional way. “Despite the obvious connection with the existing techniques of prosthaphaeresis and sequences, Napier grounded his conception of the logarithm in a kinematic framework. The
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motivation behind this approach is still not well understood by historians of mathematics. Napier imagined two particles traveling along two parallel lines. The first line was of infinite length and the second of a fixed length. Napier imagined the two particles to start from the same (horizontal) position at the same time with the same velocity. The first particle he set in uniform motion on the line of infinite length so that it covered equal distances in equal times. The second particle he set in motion on the finite line segment so that its velocity was proportional to the distance remaining from the particle to the fixed terminal point of the line segment.” (Clark and Montelle). Napier came up with a math concept, but it did not exactly start out that way. Napier did not think of logarithms in an algebraic way but in a biodynamics analysis, which is totally different than it is today. So, at any moment the distance not covered by the particle of the second line, fixed length, was the sine and was the transverse of the first line, infinite length, was the logarithms of sine. Napier figured out that if sine decreased then his logarithms increased. Which then led to the discovery that if the sine decreased in geometric proportion the logarithms would increase in arithmetic proportion. Soon after he figured this out he created a table to show the relationship between
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  • Fall '17
  • Matthew Thrasher
  • Logarithm, Slide rule, Common logarithm, Henry Briggs, John Napier, Sir Archibald Napier

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