John Napier 

home  courses  topics  theorems  starters  worksheets  timeline  KS3  KS4  KS5 

Born 1550 in Edinburgh, Scotland, died 1617 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Napier studied at St. Andrew's University, which he entered at the age of 13. It seems that Napier never finished his degree studies at St. Andrew's, but went to Europe where he studied (again, it seems) at the University of Paris, in Italy and in the Netherlands. Napier was a wealthy landowner  his work on mathematics was his favourite pastime. He however, managed to invent Napier's bones and devise a formulae for easy remembering to do with spherical triangles known as 'Napier's analogies'. He also found exponential expressions for trigonometric functions, introduced the decimal notation for fractions, and invented the logarithms! 
Want to learn more about what logarithms are? Click here. Or find out how they were invented here.
Click on the image above to see the copy of the original fronticepiece of Napier's work on Logarithms, or the work of his successor here. Learn more about other famous mathematicians by clicking here. Some other interesting mathematical concepts and their invention are described here.


artefacts  numerals  concepts  people  places  pythagoreans  egyptians  babylonians
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Acknowledgements  Copyright  Contact  Mission Statement  Tell a friend about this site 
