Life of John Napier essay sample

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Life of John Napier


John Napier is a sixteenth-century Scottish mathematician. He produced solid models which became known as Napier’s Roads or Napier’s bones. Napier was also famous for the invention of logarithms. He was a strange person for his contemporaries, partly because of his extraordinary intelligence no to mention his late night walks in his night gown and cap.

The impact of the Napier’s findings was extremely important at that time. His approach allowed to save significant efforts and compute more quickly in astronomy and navigation. Implications of his study had also provided notable incentives for developing the calculating machines.BiographyJohn Napier was born in 1550, in Scotland. His family consisted of influential landowners of Merchiston, who had been actively engaged in political affairs of that time. His first education remains unknown, and yet at the age of thirteen John had begun his study at the University of St. Andrews. At that time, John Napier had got interested in theology and mysteries of the Revelation (Clouse, 102). Due to the exaggerated care of his mother, John has lived with a principal of St. Salvator’s College, John Rutherford. He recalled himself being deeply inspired by the sermons conducted by Cristopher Goodman. These sermons were mainly focused on the subject of Apocalypse and fascinated Napier. He had decided to dedicate his life to exploring the mysteries of the Revelation (Clouse, 102).

Napier has left the University of St. Andrews without full accomplishment of a degree. Some researchers claim that after leaving University of St. Andrews, he attended several universities in Europe and traveled (Clouse, 102). By the age of 21, Napier married and settled in Stirlingshire. Residing in his own castle, he was engaged primarily in the managing of his own estates. From the age of 58 and till his last days, he had resided in Merchiston Castle being occupied with his mathematical and theological work (Clouse, 102). Napier was seized with the idea of simplification the operation of multiplying and found the major improvements in this area. However though, theological work was considered by him as a more important field of activity.

John Napier had been acquainted with the well-known astronomer, of his time, Tycho Brahe, who had appreciated his logarithm computations. However, not everyone saw Napier as an enlightened man. Many believe he was reclusive thinker engaged in Black Arts (Clouse, 103). He was reported a usage of a Black Rooster to root out a thieving servant. To find out the thief, he had asked all his servants to touch the Black Rooster which had been considered his familiar spirit. It was presupposed that the Black Rooster would find out who had been the thief and tell it. However though, all of servants had passed this test except the only one who had refused. So, basically, this incident can be intepreted as a psychological trick.

Another interesting incident has occurred between John Napier and Robert Logan, landowner of a castle in Berwickshire. It was believed that a treasure had been hidden in the …

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