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Newcomb, S (1881)

Note on the frequency of use of the different digits in natural numbers

American Journal of Mathematics 4(1), pp. 39-40.

ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9327 DOI: 10.2307/2369148

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: That the ten digits do not occur with equal frequency must be evident to any one making much use of logarithmic tables, and noticing how much faster the first pages wear out than the last ones. The first significant figure is oftener 1 than any other digit, and the frequency diminishes up to 9. The question naturally arises whether the reverse would be true of logarithms. That is, in a table of anti-logarithms, would the last part be more used than the first, or would every part be used equally? The law of frequency in the one case may be deduced from. that in the other. The question we have to consider is, what is the probability that if a natural number be taken at random its first significant digit will be n, its second n', etc.

@article {, AUTHOR = {Newcomb, Simon}, TITLE = {Note on the {F}requency of {U}se of the {D}ifferent {D}igits in {N}atural {N}umbers}, JOURNAL = {Amer. J. Math.}, FJOURNAL = {American Journal of Mathematics}, VOLUME = {4}, YEAR = {1881}, NUMBER = {1-4}, PAGES = {39--40}, ISSN = {0002-9327}, DOI = {10.2307/2369148}, URL = {}, }

Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): General Interest