(1561-1630) English mathematician, with John Napier one of the founders of calculation by logarithms. Briggs's tables remain the basis of those used to this day.
Briggs was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and studied at Cambridge, where he became a lecturer. He was professor of geometry at the newly established Gresham College, London, 1596–1620, and then became professor of geometry at Oxford.
In 1614 Scottish mathematician John Napier had published his discovery of logarithms, and Briggs went to Edinburgh to meet him 1616. On this and subsequent visits the two men worked together to simplify Napier’s original logarithms. It seems most probable that the idea of having a table of logarithms with 10 for their base was originally conceived by Briggs; the first such tables were published by him 1617, under the title Logarithmorum Chilias Prima, and were followed in 1624 by the Arithmetica Logarithmica, in which the tables were given to 14 significant figures.
The logarithms of Briggs (and Napier) were logarithms of sines, a reflection of their interest in astronomy and navigation. For that reason Briggs’s logarithms were 109 times “larger” than those in modern tables.
(1934-) New Zealand motorcyclist who won four individual world speedway titles 1957–66 and took part in a record 87 world championship races.
individual: 1957–58, 1964, 1966
team: 1968, 1971
British League Riders Champion