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Napier's bones is a manually-operated calculating device created by John Napier of Merchiston for calculation of products and quotients of numbers. The method was based on Arab mathematics and the lattice multiplication used by Matrakci Nasuh in the Umdet-ul Hisab and Fibonacci's work in his Liber Abaci. The technique was also called Rabdology. Napier published his version in 1617 in Rabdology. Printed in Edinburgh, Scotland, dedicated to his patron Alexander Seton. Using the multiplication tables embedded in the rods, multiplication can be reduced to addition operations and division to subtractions. More advanced use of the rods can even extract square roots. A rod's surface comprises 9 squares, and each square, except for the top one, comprises two halves divided by a diagonal line. The first square of each rod holds a single digit, and the other squares hold this number's double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, and so on until the last square contains nine times the number in the top square. The digits of each product are written one to each side of the diagonal; numbers less than 10 occupy the lower triangle.

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Napiers Bones

In stock

Product code: 009485
£25.00
Napier's bones is a manually-operated calculating device created by John Napier of Merchiston for calculation of products and quotients of numbers. The method was based on Arab mathematics and the lattice multiplication used by Matrakci Nasuh in the Umdet-ul Hisab and Fibonacci's work in his Liber Abaci. The technique was also called Rabdology. Napier published his version in 1617 in Rabdology. Printed in Edinburgh, Scotland, dedicated to his patron Alexander Seton.

Using the multiplication tables embedded in the rods, multiplication can be reduced to addition operations and division to subtractions. More advanced use of the rods can even extract square roots.
A rod's surface comprises 9 squares, and each square, except for the top one, comprises two halves divided by a diagonal line. The first square of each rod holds a single digit, and the other squares hold this number's double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, and so on until the last square contains nine times the number in the top square. The digits of each product are written one to each side of the diagonal; numbers less than 10 occupy the lower triangle.
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