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Q & A: Napier, logarithms, and calculus

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Most recent answer: 06/26/2015
Q:
The search for logarithm started with Archimedes about 300 B.C. (see Sand Reckoner article online) and ended with Napier discovering logarithm about 1600 A.D. He used calculus to do so. However, as I understand, Napier was a contemporary of Newton and Leibniz (may be even a bit earlier). Does this mean Napier also discovered enough calculus to apply to discovery of the logarithm? Was Napier, therefor, a co-discoverer of the calculus along with Newton and Leibniz?
- Mehran (age 64)
A:

I can't find any evidence that Napier used calculus. Looking back, it's easy for us to think of his work in terms of calculus.

Mike W.


(published on 06/26/2015)

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