## Descartes's Mean Proportionals/Logarithm Machine
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In his Geometry (1637), Descartes described and illustrated this machine for solving the problem of finding any number of mean proportionals between two numbers. Later he used it to solve what would now be called a differential equation, resulting in a logarithmic function.
In this diagram you can see many similar right triangles and many geometric means.
See Descartes's Logarithm Machine for a full explanation.
### Related demonstration files:
Similar right triangles
Geometric means
Descartes's mean proportionals/logarithm machine
Descartes's machine used to solve a "two mean proportionals" problem
Descartes's machine used to plot points on the graph of a logarithm function
Descartes's construction used to find the slope of a tangent to a logarithmic graph
Susan Addington, Created with GeoGebra |