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The following are examples of commonly used logarithmic scales, where a larger quantity results in a higher value:
The following are examples of commonly used logarithmic scales, where a larger quantity results in a lower (or negative) value:
Some of our senses operate in a logarithmic fashion (Weber–Fechner law), which makes logarithmic scales for these input quantities especially appropriate. In particular our sense of hearing perceives equal ratios of frequencies as equal differences in pitch. In addition, studies of young children in an isolated tribe have shown logarithmic scales to be the most natural display of numbers by humans.
The top-left graph is linear in the X and Y axis, and the Y-axis ranges from 0 to 10. A base-10 log scale is used for the Y axis of the bottom left graph, therefore the Y axis ranges from 0[note 1] to 1,000.
The top-right graph uses a log-10 scale for just the X axis, and the bottom right graph uses a log-10 scale for both the X axis and the Y axis.
Presentation of data on a logarithmic scale can be helpful when the data
A slide rule has logarithmic scales, and nomograms often employ logarithmic scales. The geometric mean of two numbers is midway between the numbers. Before the advent of computer graphics, logarithmic graph paper was a commonly used scientific tool.
If both the vertical and horizontal axis of a plot is scaled logarithmically, the plot is referred to as a log-log plot.
Stanislas, Dehaene; Véronique Izard, Elizabeth Spelke, and Pierre Pica. (2008). "Log or linear? Distinct intuitions of the number scale in Western and Amazonian indigene cultures". Science 320 (5880): 1217–20. Bibcode:2008Sci...320.1217D. doi:10.1126/science.1156540. PMC 2610411. PMID 18511690.