For many of us—at least those who completed our college education after 1980—logarithms are a theoretical subject, taught in an introductory algebra course as part of the function concept. But until the late 1970s logarithms were still widely used as a computational device, virtually unchanged from Briggs’s common logarithms of 1624. The advent of the hand-held calculator has made their use obsolete.

Let us say it is the year 1970 and we are asked to compute the expression

For this task we need a table of four-place common logarithms (which can still be found at the back

EP - 22 PB - Princeton University Press PY - 1994 SN - 9780691141343 SP - 18 T2 - "e": The Story of a Number UR - www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7t8q5.6 Y2 - 2020/08/03/ ER -