Appendix 1:Understanding Logarithm


Many processes are best described by logarithmic based equations and it is essential that students have an understanding of logarithmic scales and numbers.There are two common logarithms in use and both can be accessed through a scientific calculator.The decimal base 10 scale, represented by the "log" and 10X keys on your calculator and the natural logarithm or base e scale, which is represented by the "ln" and ex on your calculator.Although calculus is not a prerequisite to this class, you will be required to memorize many logarithmic relationships that have been derived from calculus.Thus it is imperative that you know the basic algebraic operations required to manipulate logs. Letís start from the beginning.


Addition takes two or more numbers and adds their values to form a third.


Multiplication is the repetition of addition

2x4 = 2+2+2+2 = 8

2xn †††† repeats the process of adding two n times.


Division represents the reciprocal of multiplication, taking a number and dividing by 2 determines how many times you have to add two to get that number.

8/2=4so2x4=8 or 2+2+2+2=8


note; taking any number (Z) and multiplying and dividing by any other equivalent number (n), gives back that number back, so they are inverse operations:

(Z x n)/n=Z


Exponentiation represents the repetition of multiplication as multiplication represents the repetition of addition.

2x2x2x2x2x2 = 26 = 64

X=bn is the process of multiplying b by itself n times

Logarithms represent the inverse of exponentiaion.

log264=6 so 26=64=2x2x2x2x2x2


where b is a real number called the base of the log (the number being multiplied by itself) n times to get X. Exponentiation is often called the anti log.


If†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† Y=logb X

then X is the antilogb of Y,

or ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††X=bY


As this is the inverse of exponentiation


x = log10x = ln(ex)



Mathematical manipulations


Logarithms reduce the process of multiplication and division to those of addition and subtraction (we add/subtract logs like we multiply/divide their numbers).Conisder


From above we would determine this is 22x23.Look at the exponents, this is††††††††††††††††††††



So we added exponents to perform multiplication.


Likewise, we could have taken the log2 of the two numbers and added them, and then taken the antilog of the sum

log2(4) = 2,†††† log2(8) = 3

2+3=5, the antilog (base 2) of 5 is:25=32


You are required to know these operations.

For example if aman = a(m+n) makes no sense to you, try it with base 10.

102x103 = 10(2+3) = 105= 100,000 (ie., a hundred times a thousand is a hundred thousand)





Comparison of Logarithms to Scientific Notation:Letís consider two numbers; 0.0003547 and 46794.


In both scientific notation and logarithms any number is be broken into 2 parts.

In scientific notation these are 10 to a power and a number between 1 and 10. That is Ax10X where 1<A<10.The value of A can be expressed as 10 to the power of a fraction (M Ėthe mantissa of a log)


For logarithms these are the characteristic - C (an integer) and the mantissa ĖM (a fraction, whose antilog is a number between 1 and 10).


We write this as C.Mor the characteristic.mantissa


In scientific notation 467940= 4.6794x105 =10M10X = 10.67019105

For numbers larger than 10, X=C, the characteristic of the log and in logarithms this is C.M or 5.67019


so 467940= 4.6794x105 =105.67019 and the log of 467940 is 5.67019

where the characteristic=5 and the mantissa=0.67019


To take the antilog of C.M, you have

10C.M=10C10M=10M10C = a number between 1and 10 x 10X

Example, the antilog of 5.67019 = 105.67019 = (105 )(10.67019 )=10.67019x105 = 4.6794x105


For fractions (negative logs) things are a bit more confusing. The trick is to realize the mantissa can never be negative as 10 to the power of the mantissa represents a number between 1 and 10.


Consider the fraction 0.00003457.

Now first, 0.00003457 = 3.457x10-5 .

Now, this is greater than 10-5 and smaller than 10-4, and so -4 and not -5 is the characteristic.To see this we can break it scientific notation, express them as powers of 10, and then add the exponents.


0.00003457 = 3.457x10-5 = 10M10X =10.5387(10-5 )=10.5387-5=10-4.4613

So the log of 0.00003457 = -4.4613 and

0.00003457 = 3.457x10-5 = 10-4.4613


Now note, the antilog of -4.4613= (10-4.4613 )= 10M10C = 10M+C where M must be a positive fraction. So C = -5 and -3.4613=-5+M and M = .5387, giving

(10-4.4613 )= 10-5+.5387=)= 10-510.5387= 10.538710-5 =3.457x10-5





Lets apply the mathematical arules to the two state Arrhenius equation which relates the kinetic rate constant to the temperature.If a reaction has an activation energy of 40 kJ/mol at room temperature (20oC), at what temperature would the rate double if all other variables were kept constant.†† That is, at what temperature (T2) does k2= 2k1


Dividing the first state by k2:



Substituting for k2

Taking the natural log of both sides:











Derivation of Beer's Law:(You are not required to be able to do this, but this shows why this class uses so many logarithms).


Beers law is based on a few basic assumptions and its derivation requires calculus like many of the equations we will using this semester.Calculus is not a prerequisite for this class and you can memorize beer's law.To understand beer's law we ask ourselves what variables influence the amount of light absorbed by a solution.There are 3 variables for a given wavelength; the concentration (C) of absorbing compounds (chromophores), the distance the light travels (X) in the solution (path length) and the intensity (I) of light itself (noting that intensity of light is related to the number of photons while the energy is related to the wavelength).Mathematically we use a proportionality constant (k) to state that the change in light intensity is proportional to these 3 factors.

The negative sign is a result of the fact that the intensity decreases as the light is absorbed.


The solution of this equation requires the mathematics of change, calculus, where dI represents an infinitesimally small change in the intensity correlated with an infinitesimally small change in the path length (dx):Once again we see why logarithms are so important in science.Note that in going from the natural logs of the calculus to the log base 10 of beers law we use the relationship lnX=2.303log x and so k = 2.303a.