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Napier, John

Born: 1550 AD
Died: 1617 AD
Nationality: Scottish
Categories: Mathematicians

1550 – John Napier was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, into the Scottish nobility. John Napier was a Scottish scholar who is best known for his invention of logarithms, but other mathematical contributions include a mnemonic for formulas used in solving spherical triangles and two formulas known as Napier’s analogies.

1563 – Young John Napier entered St-Salvator’s College, University of St-Andrews, at the age of 13.

1571 – Napier turned 21 and returned to Scotland.

1572 – He married Elizabeth Stirling, daughter of Scottish mathematician James Stirling, and bat a castle at Gartnes.

1593 – Napier was anti-Catholic, as evidenced by his book against Catholicism and the papacy (office of the pope) entitled A Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of St. John. This attack was so popular that it was translated into several languages and saw many editions. Napier always felt that if he attained any fame at all in his life, it would be because of that book.

1614 – Napier first made this discovery known in his book called ‘A Description of the Wonderful Canon of Logarithms.’ The author briefly described and explained his inventions, but more importantly, he included his first set of logarithmic tables. These tables were a stroke of genius and a big hit with astronomers and scientists.

1619 – Wrote Construction of Logarithms.

1617 – Died on April 4th from gout.