# How to calculate log on calculator

**Introduction:**

Logarithms are an essential mathematical concept useful in various fields, including science, engineering, and computer science. They help us deal with exponential growth and large numbers by simplifying complex calculations. Particularly, log base 2 (also known as the binary logarithm) is frequently used in computer science due to its connection with the binary number system. In this article, we will discuss the steps to calculate log base 2 of a number.

**Understanding Logarithms:**

A logarithm is a mathematical operation that answers the question: How many times should we multiply a specific base by itself to achieve a given result? It serves as an inverse function to exponentiation.

The logarithm of a number ‘x’ to a base ‘b’ is denoted as log_b(x). For instance, when we write log_2(8), it implies that we want to find out how many times we must multiply the base (2) by itself to obtain the number (8).

**Calculating Log Base 2:**

Here are the steps to calculate log base 2 of a given number:

**1. Convert your desired output into exponential form:**

Express the result you want as an exponent with base 2. For example, if we want to find log_2(8), write it as 2^x = 8.

**2. Recognize powers of 2:**

Identify whether the result (number on the right side) is an exact power of 2 or not. If yes, determining x would be quite straightforward.

**3. Solve for x (if an exact power of 2):**

In our example above (2^x = 8), we can observe that 8 is equivalent to 2^3. Thus, x is equal to 3. This means log_2(8) = 3.

**4. Solve for x (if not an exact power of 2):**

When the given number is not an exact power of 2, you can still approximate x using the following methods:

**a. Change-of-base formula:**

The change-of-base formula enables us to find log base 2 using a different logarithm base, such as the common logarithm (base 10). The formula is expressed as follows:

log_b(x) = log_c(x) / log_c(b)

To calculate log_2(6), we can apply the change-of-base formula as follows:

log_2(6) = log_10(6) / log_10(2)

Utilize your calculator to compute the values and then divide them.

**b. Scientific calculators and software tools:**

Almost all scientific calculators and software tools such as Python, Excel, or programming languages like Python, have built-in functions that can directly calculate log base 2 for any given number.

In Python, you could simply use:

“`python

import math

result = math.log2(6)

“`

In Excel, you can utilize the function “=LOG(number, base)” to compute log base 2. For our example:

`=LOG(6, 2)`

**Conclusion:**

Calculating log base 2 can be accomplished by identifying powers of 2, utilizing the change-of-base formula, or leveraging scientific calculators and software tools. These techniques will enable you to solve problems involving binary logarithms and deepen your understanding of logarithmic functions.