Briggs, Henry

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b. February 1561 Warley Wood, Yorkshire, England
d. 26 January 1630 Oxford, England
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English mathematician who invented common, or Briggsian, logarithms and whose writings led to their general acceptance throughout Europe.
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After education at Warley Grammar School, Briggs entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1577 and became a fellow in 1588. Having been Reader of the Linacre Lecture in 1592, he was appointed to the new Chair in Geometry at Gresham House (subsequently Gresham College), London, in 1596. Shortly after, he concluded that the logarithms developed by John Napier would be much more useful if they were calculated to the decimal base 10, rather than to the base e (the "natural" number 2.71828…), a suggestion with which Napier concurred. Until the advent of modern computing these decimal logarithms were invaluable for the accurate calculations involved in surveying, navigation and astronomy. In 1619 he accepted the Savilian Chair in Geometry at Oxford University, having two years previously published the base 10 logarithms of 1,000 numbers. The year 1624 saw the completion of his monumental Arithmetica Logarithmica, which contained fourteen-figure logarithms of 30,000 numbers, together with their trigonometric sines to fifteen decimal places and their tangents and secants to ten places!
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Bibliography
1617, Logarithmorum Chilias Primi (the first published reference to base 10 logarithms). 1622, A Treatise of the North West Passage to the South Sea: Through the Continent of
Virginia and by Fretum Hudson.
1633, Arithmetica Logarithmica, Gouda, the Netherlands; pub. in 1633 as Trigonmetria Britannica, London.
Further Reading
E.T.Bell, 1937, Men of Mathematics, London: Victor Gollancz. See also Burgi, Jost.
KF

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Briggs,Henry — Briggs (brĭgz), Henry. 1561 1630. English mathematician who devised the decimal based system of logarithms and invented the modern method of long division. * * * …   Universalium

  • Briggs, Henry — ▪ English mathematician born February 1561, Warleywood, Yorkshire, England died January 26, 1630, Oxford       English mathematician who invented the common, or Briggsian, logarithm. His writings were mainly responsible for the widespread… …   Universalium

  • Briggs , Henry — (1561–1630) English mathematician Born in Warley Wood, Briggs became a fellow of Cambridge University in 1588 and was later made a lecturer (1592) and a professor (1596) of geometry at Gresham College, London. He is remembered chiefly for the… …   Scientists

  • Briggs, Henry — ► (1561 1630) Matemático inglés. Introdujo, en colaboración con Napier, los logaritmos decimales …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BRIGGS, HENRY —    a distinguished English mathematician; first Savilian professor at Oxford; made an important improvement on the system of logarithms, which was accepted by Napier, the inventor, and is the system now in use (1561 1631) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Briggs — Briggs, Henry …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BRIGGS (H.) — BRIGGS HENRY (1561 1630) Mathématicien anglais dont le nom est attaché à la découverte des logarithmes décimaux (appelés aussi logarithmes vulgaires ou briggsiens). Le caractère instrumental de ce nouvel outil mathématique lui valut une large et… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Henry Briggs — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Briggs. Henry Briggs Naissance Février 1556 Warley Wood (Angleterre) Décès 26 janvier 1630 Oxford (Angleterre) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Henry Briggs — Henry Briggs, Familienname auch Brigde oder Brigs, (* Februar 1561[1] in Warleywood bei Halifax (West Yorkshire); † 26. Januar 1630 in Oxford) war ein englischer Mathematiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Schriften …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henry Briggs — Nacimiento Febrero de 1561 Warley wood, Yorkshire, Inglaterra Fallecimiento 26 de Enero de 1630, a la edad de 68 años Oxford, Inglaterra Residencia Inglaterra …   Wikipedia Español

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