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Ten fun facts about John Napier


1. Scottish Mathematician Who Invented Napier's Bones

John Napier was a Scottish mathematician and physicist who is best known for inventing Napier's bones, a calculating device used to multiply and divide numbers. This device was revolutionary for its time, as it allowed for quick and accurate calculations of products and quotients. Napier's bones consists of a set of rods, each with a number of squares on them, and a set of instructions for how to use them. Napier's invention was so successful that it was used for centuries, and is still used in some parts of the world today.

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2. Math & Physics Pioneer

John Napier, a Scottish mathematician and physicist, is remembered for his contributions to the fields of mathematics and physics, and for his invention of logarithms. His legacy is further immortalized in the form of a crater on the Moon, aptly named 'Neper' in his honour. The crater is located in the northern hemisphere of the Moon's near side, and is estimated to be around 60 km in diameter. It is believed to have been formed by a meteorite impact, and is visible to the naked eye from Earth.

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3. John Napier, magician with a black spider

John Napier was a mysterious figure, often considered to be a magician by some. He was known to carry a small box with him wherever he went, containing a black spider. This strange habit only added to the mystique surrounding him, and further fuelled the rumors of his magical powers.

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4. " Predicting the End of the World"

John Napier was a 16th century Scottish mathematician and theologian who had a deep fascination with the Book of Revelation. He wrote a book called "A Plaine Disocvery of the Whole Revelation of St. John" in which he attempted to interpret the text and predict the date of the world's end. His predictions were based on his own calculations and interpretations of the text, and although his predictions were ultimately incorrect, his work was highly influential in the field of Biblical interpretation.

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5. 16-year-old father builds ancestral home, John Napier

John Napier was born to a young father, Sir Archibald of the Merchiston Castle, who was only 16 years old at the time. Merchiston Castle, located in Edinburgh, Scotland, was the ancestral home of the Napier family and was built in the 15th century. It is now a Category A listed building and is owned by the Napier family.

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6. 13-Year Math Genius

At the tender age of 13, John Napier began his schooling, only to leave shortly after. He then embarked on a journey of self-discovery, travelling across Europe and studying various topics until he reached the age of 21. During this time, he developed a deep understanding of mathematics, philosophy, and theology, which would later become the foundation of his groundbreaking work in the field of mathematics.

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7. The Man Who Invented the Decimal Point

John Napier is best remembered for his invention of logarithms, a mathematical tool that revolutionized the way calculations were done. However, he also made a significant contribution to mathematics by introducing the use of a decimal point. This simple yet effective concept allowed for more precise calculations and made it easier to represent fractions and other numbers. Napier's invention of the decimal point was a major breakthrough in mathematics and is still used today.

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8. The Man Who Revolutionized Mathematics

John Napier was a renowned mathematician and inventor who worked mostly alone, but he did have some correspondence with two other prominent figures in the scientific community: Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer, and John Craig, a Scottish mathematician. Napier and Brahe exchanged ideas on astronomy and mathematics, while Napier and Craig discussed the development of logarithms. Napier's correspondence with these two figures was instrumental in his development of logarithms, which revolutionized mathematics and science.

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9. John Napier's Wife Dies Young, Devastating Blow

In 1572, John Napier married his wife Elizabeth, but sadly, their marriage was cut short when she passed away just seven years later. This was a devastating blow for Napier, who had to cope with the loss of his beloved wife at such a young age.

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10. Logarithms Pioneer.

John Napier, a Scottish mathematician and physicist, is remembered for his contributions to the development of logarithms and his invention of the calculating device known as Napier's Bones. His legacy lives on in the form of the Edinburgh Napier University, which was named in his honour. Founded in 1992, the university is located in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is home to over 18,000 students. It offers a wide range of courses in areas such as business, computing, engineering, and the creative industries. The university also has a strong focus on research, with its research centres and institutes working on projects in areas such as health, sustainability, and the digital economy. John Napier's legacy continues to be celebrated through the university that bears his name.

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Short about John Napier
A Scottish landowner and also a mathematician, physicist and astronomer.

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