Bürgi, Joost

Bürgi, Joost or Jost, 1552–1632, Swiss mathematician and instrument maker. As the official clockmaker (1579–92) to Duke Wilhelm IV of Hesse-Kassell, he developed the first clock with a minute hand, as well as sextants and other astronomical instruments. Around 1588 he began using logarithms for conducting astronomical calculations and other computations; his invention of logarithms was independent from that of John Napier. Other scientific instruments designed and built by Bürgi include an astronomical clock (1591) based on the Copernican system and several mechanized celestial globes. In 1604 Bürgi went to Prague as imperial clockmaker to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, where he also worked with the astronomer Johannes Kepler.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mathematics: Biographies