John Napier created logarithms to help speed up multiplication, he achieved this by turning multiplication into addition via logarithms. Understanding how this works can help students understand why logarithms were created, how and why we use them. A combination of a virtual slide rule, graphs and tables help students understand logarithms.
The main aim of this activity is to provide students with a better conceptual understanding of logarithms. This understanding is based on the original idea of providing a 'linear' way of performing multiplication. A digital slide rule and graphs help provide this understanding.
- Linear and non-Linear
About the Lesson
Students use a combination of a virtual slide rule, approximations and graphs to help understand logarithms. Students use the approximation tools to solve problems where the unknown is in the index. A virtual slide rule helps connect the notion of addition with logarithms and finally typical calculations involving logarithms.