John Napier

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John Napier
John Napier.jpg
John Napier (1550–1617)
Born1550
Died4 April 1617(1617-04-04) (aged 66–67)
Edinburgh, Scotland
NationalityScottish
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
Known forLogarithms
Napier's bones
Decimal notation
Scientific career
FieldsMathematician
InfluencedHenry Briggs

John Napier (he also signed as Neper, and Nepair)[1] 1550 – 4 April 1617) was a Scottish landowner, nicknamed "Marvellous Merchiston". He was a mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. He was the 8th Laird of Merchiston. His Latinized name was Ioannes Neper.

John Napier is best known as the discoverer of logarithms. He also invented the so-called "Napier's bones" and made common the use of the decimal point in arithmetic and mathematics.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Napier". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. Cajori F. A history of mathematics. 2nd ed, p149. New York: Macmillan.


Napier's 'bones' were used to find the products and quotients of numbers