The device consists of:
- a set of rods, one for each digit $0$ to $9$, containing the multiples of that number, again from $0$ to $9$, in a column, written as $2$ digits, divided by a diagonal line.
- a board upon which the rods can be placed, labeled $1$ to $9$ down a column on the left hand side, each digit corresponding to the numbers on the rods
The multiplier corresponds to the number down the left hand side of the board
For each digit in the multiplicand, the numbers adjacent to each other on the row corresponding to the multiplier in each of the compartments formed by the diagonal lines aligned together are added together.
The product is thus formed.
Also known as
Napier's bones are also known as Napier's rods.
Source of Name
This entry was named for John Napier.
- 1989: Ephraim J. Borowski and Jonathan M. Borwein: Dictionary of Mathematics ... (previous) ... (next): Entry: Napier's bones
- 1998: David Nelson: The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics (2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry: Napier's bones
- 2008: David Nelson: The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics (4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry: Napier's bones
- 2008: Ian Stewart: Taming the Infinite ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $5$: Eternal Triangles: Logarithms
- 2014: Christopher Clapham and James Nicholson: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics (5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry: Napier's bones