John Napier Facts

John Napier Facts
John Napier of Merchiston (1550 to 4 April 1617) was a Scottish landowner, mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. He was the 8th Laird of Merchiston. He discovered logarithms and was the inventor of "Napier's bones" a manually operated device for calculating products and quotients.
Interesting John Napier Facts:
John Napier was born in Merchiston Castle and was common in the 16th century was educated at home until the age of 13.
He seems to have attended St Salvator's College, St Andrews for a brief time which stirred a life-long interest in religion.
In 1593 he wrote A Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of St. John in which he predicted the apocalypse i would occur in 1688 or 1700.
He studied and traveled in Europe for several years and returned to Scotland in 1571.
In 1614 he wrote Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio which contained 90 pages of tables of natural logarithms and also contained theorems in spherical trigonometry known as Napier's Rules of Circular Parts.
Both of his books have been translated into English and are available on the internet.
In 1615 he was visited by English mathematician, Henry Briggs, and Napier assigned Briggs the task of revising the computation tables.
Logarithms and exponential notation made calculations much quicker and was important to scientific advances in astronomy, and physics.
Napier improved Stevin's decimal notation and used it extensively in his calculations.
He invented the calculating device, Napier's bones, which is a series of numbered rods.
This invention made the lattice multiplication introduced by Fibonacci much easier.
Napier corresponded with the famous astronomer, Tycho Brahe, who learned of Napier's logarithm system.
Edinburgh Napier University is named for him and the University's Merchiston Campus was built on his land.


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