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The Natural Logarithm

Naturevolume 135pages893894 (1935) | Download Citation



NO practical man ever saw the least difficulty either in the idea of logarithms to a given base or in the use of common logarithms in arithmetical work. But if the practical man becomes inquisitive as to the methods by which his tables have been computed for him, or if he has to learn the use of logarithms in integration, the mathematician takes him seriously in hand; a quarter of a century ago, he was plunged into uncongenial algebraical analysis, into which the mysterious e was introduced dogmatically; nowadays, he is more likely to be told that the logarithm is defined as an integral, and to be set the bewildering task of pretending that he has never used a logarithm in his life. Sir Charles Boys, in his younger days, met with the first fate, and for a long time the natural logarithm seemed to him utterly artificial. Now he has found a direct line of approach, and he has written a tract which he tells us he would have swallowed whole if it could have been given to him when he was trying to digest Todhunter's account of the exponential series.

The Natural Logarithm.

By Sir Charles Vernon Boys. Pp. 31. (London: Wightman and Co., Ltd., 1935.) 2s.

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