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Logarithm
In mathematics, the logarithm is the inverse function to exponentiation. That means the logarithm of a number  to the base  is the exponent to which must be raised, to produce . For example, since , the ''logarithm base'' 10 of is , or . The logarithm of to ''base''  is denoted as , or without parentheses, , or even without the explicit base, , when no confusion is possible, or when the base does not matter such as in big O notation. The logarithm base is called the decimal or common logarithm and is commonly used in science and engineering. The natural logarithm has the number  as its base; its use is widespread in mathematics and physics, because of its very simple derivative. The binary logarithm uses base and is frequently used in computer science. Logarithms were introduced by John Napier in 1614 as a means of simplifying calculations. They were rapidly adopted by navigators, scientists, engineers, surveyors and others to perform hig ...
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Logarithm Plots
In mathematics, the logarithm is the inverse function to exponentiation. That means the logarithm of a number  to the base  is the exponent to which must be raised, to produce . For example, since , the ''logarithm base'' 10 of is , or . The logarithm of to ''base''  is denoted as , or without parentheses, , or even without the explicit base, , when no confusion is possible, or when the base does not matter such as in big O notation. The logarithm base is called the decimal or common logarithm and is commonly used in science and engineering. The natural logarithm has the number  as its base; its use is widespread in mathematics and physics, because of its very simple derivative. The binary logarithm uses base and is frequently used in computer science. Logarithms were introduced by John Napier in 1614 as a means of simplifying calculations. They were rapidly adopted by navigators, scientists, engineers, surveyors and others to perform high-accur ...
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Natural Logarithm
The natural logarithm of a number is its logarithm to the base of the mathematical constant , which is an irrational and transcendental number approximately equal to . The natural logarithm of is generally written as , , or sometimes, if the base is implicit, simply . Parentheses are sometimes added for clarity, giving , , or . This is done particularly when the argument to the logarithm is not a single symbol, so as to prevent ambiguity. The natural logarithm of is the power to which would have to be raised to equal . For example, is , because . The natural logarithm of itself, , is , because , while the natural logarithm of is , since . The natural logarithm can be defined for any positive real number as the area under the curve from to (with the area being negative when ). The simplicity of this definition, which is matched in many other formulas involving the natural logarithm, leads to the term "natural". The definition of the natural logarithm can the ...
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Logarithmic Scale
A logarithmic scale (or log scale) is a way of displaying numerical data over a very wide range of values in a compact way—typically the largest numbers in the data are hundreds or even thousands of times larger than the smallest numbers. Such a scale is nonlinear: the numbers 10 and 20, and 60 and 70, are not the same distance apart on a log scale. Rather, the numbers 10 and 100, and 60 and 600 are equally spaced. Thus moving a unit of distance along the scale means the number has been ''multiplied'' by 10 (or some other fixed factor). Often exponential growth curves are displayed on a log scale, otherwise they would increase too quickly to fit within a small graph. Another way to think about it is that the ''number of digits'' of the data grows at a constant rate. For example, the numbers 10, 100, 1000, and 10000 are equally spaced on a log scale, because their numbers of digits is going up by 1 each time: 2, 3, 4, and 5 digits. In this way, adding two digits ''multiplies'' th ...
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John Napier
John Napier of Merchiston (; 1 February 1550 – 4 April 1617), nicknamed Marvellous Merchiston, was a Scottish landowner known as 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. Napier's birthplace, Merchiston Tower in Edinburgh, is now part of the facilities of Edinburgh Napier University. There is a memorial to him at St Cuthbert's at the west side of Edinburgh. Life Napier's father was Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston Castle, and his mother was Janet Bothwell, daughter of the politician and judge Francis Bothwell, and a sister of Adam Bothwell who became the Bishop of Orkney. Archibald Napier was 16 years old when John Napier was born. There are no records of Napier's early education, but many believe that he w ...
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Common Logarithm
In mathematics, the common logarithm is the logarithm with base 10. It is also known as the decadic logarithm and as the decimal logarithm, named after its base, or Briggsian logarithm, after Henry Briggs, an English mathematician who pioneered its use, as well as standard logarithm. Historically, it was known as ''logarithmus decimalis'' or ''logarithmus decadis''. It is indicated by , , or sometimes with a capital (however, this notation is ambiguous, since it can also mean the complex natural logarithmic multi-valued function). On calculators, it is printed as "log", but mathematicians usually mean natural logarithm (logarithm with base e ≈ 2.71828) rather than common logarithm when they write "log". To mitigate this ambiguity, the ISO 80000 specification recommends that should be written , and should be . Before the early 1970s, handheld electronic calculators were not available, and mechanical calculators capable of multiplication were bulky, expensive and not wide ...
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Decibel
The decibel (symbol: dB) is a relative unit of measurement equal to one tenth of a bel (B). It expresses the ratio of two values of a power or root-power quantity on a logarithmic scale. Two signals whose levels differ by one decibel have a power ratio of 101/10 (approximately ) or root-power ratio of 10 (approximately ). The unit expresses a relative change or an absolute value. In the latter case, the numeric value expresses the ratio of a value to a fixed reference value; when used in this way, the unit symbol is often suffixed with letter codes that indicate the reference value. For example, for the reference value of 1 volt, a common suffix is " V" (e.g., "20 dBV"). Two principal types of scaling of the decibel are in common use. When expressing a power ratio, it is defined as ten times the logarithm in base 10. That is, a change in ''power'' by a factor of 10 corresponds to a 10 dB change in level. When expressing root-power quantities, a change in ''am ...
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Binary Logarithm
In mathematics, the binary logarithm () is the power to which the number must be raised to obtain the value . That is, for any real number , :x=\log_2 n \quad\Longleftrightarrow\quad 2^x=n. For example, the binary logarithm of is , the binary logarithm of is , the binary logarithm of is , and the binary logarithm of is . The binary logarithm is the logarithm to the base and is the inverse function of the power of two function. As well as , an alternative notation for the binary logarithm is (the notation preferred by ISO 31-11 and ISO 80000-2). Historically, the first application of binary logarithms was in music theory, by Leonhard Euler: the binary logarithm of a frequency ratio of two musical tones gives the number of octaves by which the tones differ. Binary logarithms can be used to calculate the length of the representation of a number in the binary numeral system, or the number of bits needed to encode a message in information theory. In comput ...
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Level (logarithmic Quantity)
In science and engineering, a power level and a field level (also called a root-power level) are logarithmic measures of certain quantities referenced to a standard reference value of the same type. * A ''power level'' is a logarithmic quantity used to measure power, power density or sometimes energy, with commonly used unit decibel (dB). * A ''field level'' (or ''root-power level'') is a logarithmic quantity used to measure quantities of which the square is typically proportional to power (for instance, the square of Voltage is proportional to Power by the inverse of the conductor's Resistance), etc., with commonly used units neper (Np) or decibel (dB). The type of level and choice of units indicate the scaling of the logarithm of the ratio between the quantity and its reference value, though a logarithm may be considered to be a dimensionless quantity. The reference values for each type of quantity are often specified by international standards. Power and field levels are use ...
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Slide Rule
The slide rule is a mechanical analog computer which is used primarily for multiplication and division, and for functions such as exponents, roots, logarithms, and trigonometry. It is not typically designed for addition or subtraction, which is usually performed using other methods. Maximum accuracy for standard linear slide rules is about three decimal significant digits, while scientific notation is used to keep track of the order of magnitude of results. Slide rules exist in a diverse range of styles and generally appear in a linear, circular or cylindrical form, with slide rule scales inscribed with standardized graduated markings. Slide rules manufactured for specialized fields such as aviation or finance typically feature additional scales that aid in specialized calculations particular to those fields. The slide rule is closely related to nomograms used for application-specific computations. Though similar in name and appearance to a standard ruler, the slide rule is ...
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Sound Pressure
Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient (average or equilibrium) atmospheric pressure, caused by a sound wave. In air, sound pressure can be measured using a microphone, and in water with a hydrophone. The SI unit of sound pressure is the pascal (Pa). Mathematical definition A sound wave in a transmission medium causes a deviation (sound pressure, a ''dynamic'' pressure) in the local ambient pressure, a ''static'' pressure. Sound pressure, denoted ''p'', is defined by p_\text = p_\text + p, where * ''p''total is the total pressure, * ''p''stat is the static pressure. Sound measurements Sound intensity In a sound wave, the complementary variable to sound pressure is the particle velocity. Together, they determine the sound intensity of the wave. ''Sound intensity'', denoted I and measured in W· m−2 in SI units, is defined by \mathbf I = p \mathbf v, where * ''p'' is the sound pressure, * v is the particle velocity. Ac ...
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Exponentiation
Exponentiation is a mathematical operation, written as , involving two numbers, the '' base'' and the ''exponent'' or ''power'' , and pronounced as " (raised) to the (power of) ". When is a positive integer, exponentiation corresponds to repeated multiplication of the base: that is, is the product of multiplying bases: b^n = \underbrace_. The exponent is usually shown as a superscript to the right of the base. In that case, is called "''b'' raised to the ''n''th power", "''b'' (raised) to the power of ''n''", "the ''n''th power of ''b''", "''b'' to the ''n''th power", or most briefly as "''b'' to the ''n''th". Starting from the basic fact stated above that, for any positive integer n, b^n is n occurrences of b all multiplied by each other, several other properties of exponentiation directly follow. In particular: \begin b^ & = \underbrace_ \\ ex& = \underbrace_ \times \underbrace_ \\ ex& = b^n \times b^m \end In other words, when multiplying a base raised to one ...
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Big O Notation
Big ''O'' notation is a mathematical notation that describes the limiting behavior of a function when the argument tends towards a particular value or infinity. Big O is a member of a family of notations invented by Paul Bachmann, Edmund Landau, and others, collectively called Bachmann–Landau notation or asymptotic notation. The letter O was chosen by Bachmann to stand for '' Ordnung'', meaning the order of approximation. In computer science, big O notation is used to classify algorithms according to how their run time or space requirements grow as the input size grows. In analytic number theory, big O notation is often used to express a bound on the difference between an arithmetical function and a better understood approximation; a famous example of such a difference is the remainder term in the prime number theorem. Big O notation is also used in many other fields to provide similar estimates. Big O notation characterizes functions according to their growth rate ...
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