*Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences*. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.

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## Slide Rule

The slide rule is an analog device for performing mathematical computations. The first slide rule was created in 1630 by British mathematician
William Oughtred (1574–1660). His device was based on the logarithmic scale created by British astronomer Edmund Gunter (1581–1626) in 1620. Gunter's work, in turn, was based on the principle of **logarithm** set forth by Scottish mathematician John Napier (1550–1617) in 1614. What is known as the modern slide rule took shape during the first half of the 1800s.

The slide rule was used by scientists and engineers from 1640 through the 1960s and 1970s. The most familiar modern slide rule is basically a ruler with a sliding piece. Both parts of the device are marked with a scale of digits. The number of significant digits that a slide rule can contain is limited by the size of the rule. Circular and cylindrical slide rules were created to...

This section contains 379 words(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page) |