Friday, June 1, 2012

The Great Logarithm Battle Continues

I recently attended the St. Patrick High School graduation ceremony with a heavy heart.  One of my highest achieving students in math EVER, had just graduated and effectively removed himself from my sphere of influence with a mathematical misconception that would make lots of old, dead guys turn over in their graves.

We had just spent the better part of a whole school year arguing about which function was "better," the common logarithm (LOG), or the natural logarithm (ln).  To this day he still won't admit my mathematical dominance on the subject (probably out of spite), but I am unsure of whether he actually believes it or not.  I mean, his arguments are so feeble that I find it hard to believe he's actually being serious, but he debates with such passion, and with a sketchy little smile on his face, that I can't help but think he's just egging me on.  Well, either way I win, because I either have crushed him and his inferior claims, or he doesn't care at all so I win by default.

In any case, not that I expect this argument to ever end, but here are a few links that help support my side of the story.  It appears that the editors are scraping the bottom of the barrel for material on the common logarithm (not so common after all eh Joe?), but a plethora of material and applications for the natural logarithm are available.

Wikipedia Common Logarithm

Wikipedia Natural Logarithm

The fact that ln is graphically greater than log on the interval (1, infinity) and log is only graphically greater than ln on the interval (0, 1) only further lends credence to my impenetrable argument.

And all God's people said "Amen!"

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