###### Asked in School SubjectsMath and ArithmeticAlgebra

School Subjects

Math and Arithmetic

Algebra

# Why can the base of a logarithm be neither less than or equal to zero nor equal to one?

## Answer

###### Wiki User

###### November 11, 2007 5:53PM

A logarithm is written like this: log**ab** It is asking:
'How many **a**'s must be multiplied together to get **b**?'
or 'To what power must **a** be raised to get **b**?' Those
questions are normally impossible to answer if **a** is zero or
one, because these numbers remain the same no matter what the
power. If **a** is negative, then the need to introduce
imaginary and complex numbers will arise.

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###### Asked in Algebra

### How do you find a logarithm from a table?

You look the number up in a table.
Example:
Find the logarithm of 511
From a table I see that numbers are only listed from 1.00 to
9.99
I look up 5.11 and know that I have to multiply that by 100 or
102 to get my original value, which is equivalent to adding 2 to
the table value.
The table gives me 0.7084209 for the logarithm for 5.11
The logarithm of 511 is thus 2.7084209
For numbers less than 1 the logarithm will be
negative!
Negative numbers do have logarithms!