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Henry Briggs


Henry Briggs He was an English mathematician, born in February 1561, and died on January 26, 1630. He was the man most responsible for scientists accepting the logarithms.

Briggs was educated at Cambridge University and was the first professor of geometry at Gresham College, London. In 1619 he was appointed professor of geometry at Oxford.

Impressed by the power of logarithms, Briggs even visited his inventor, John Napier, in Edinburgh, Scotland. To get the logarithms it was always useful to have lookup tables, calculation tables. At this meeting in Edinburgh, Napier and Briggs agreed that the tables would be most useful if they were altered so that the logarithm of 1 was 0 and the logarithm of 10 was a convenient power of 10, thus giving rise to the Briggsian or common logarithms, or the today's logarithms.

Briggs has published works on navigation, astronomy, and mathematics. He proposed the "common" ten-based logarithms, and built a logarithm table that was used until the 19th century.