# Vi Hart explains logarithms

Wait, didnâ€™t we just hear she was quitting Youtube?

Just watchedâ€¦brain is numbâ€¦burrsâ€¦

Girls, I know you will understand this and feel the intrinsic, incredible emotion
You have just pulled over your head the worn, warm sweater belonging to a boyâ€¦

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She rocks. Love this.

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Apparently these claims were baselessâ€¦

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I always thought logarithms were what lumberjacks danced to.

Seriously, that explains why I punch â€ś1000â€ť into my calculator and press â€ślogâ€ť and the answer comes back, â€ś3â€ťâ€¦guess my calculator thinks in base 10.

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This book was cooler:

Also, can anyone tell if those videos work not only as musings for the ones who already know what sheâ€™s talking about, but as actual learning videos as well?

Yes, log is usually base 10, ln is base e. Base 2 is useful too, but you have to figure it yourself.

The calculator thinks in base 2 but itâ€™s smart enough to know that if you need to use a calculator your probably human, and if your human you probably think in base 10.

Finally doing math using a slide rule makes some kind of sense. The magic is goneâ€¦ truth is revealed. Thanks logarithms, Thanks Vi!

Mathematicians reserve unadorned â€ślogâ€ť for the natural logarithm, having little use for other bases. Scientists and engineers use â€ślogâ€ť for base 10 and require â€ślnâ€ť for the natural log; â€ślgâ€ť is base 2, especially in computer science.

The decibel scale is logarithmic, defined as log base 10, but then multiplied by 10. Essentially this is base 10^(1/10) ~= 1.25892541179.

Suppose you have some calculator with a log key, but you donâ€™t know what base itâ€™s in â€“ can you find the logarithm of x with respect to a particular base b? This is easy â€“ just key in (log x)/(log b).

[/ log facts]

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Well, for me, someone for whom â€ślogâ€ť was just a button on a calculator, I learned a lot. When she crosses out the letters at the end and writes in â€ślog,â€ť something magical happened, and I understood.

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I guess my engineering background shows. I have never seen â€ślg,â€ť maybe itâ€™s after my time.

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