Computing $\ln(10)$ to 6 million digits of precision on my 2.5 GHz machine running Mathematica 12.1 takes about 23 seconds using the methods below. Wish to compute $\ln(x)$ with much higher precision. Is this the fastest I can compute $\ln(10)$ with 6 million digits on my machine?

  1. Use the built-in Log[x] function,
  2. Invert the exponential expression $e^y=x$ which results in a Newton iteration of the form: $$ y_{n+1}=y_n+2\frac{x-e^{y_n}}{x+e^{y_n}} $$
  3. Use the arithmetic-geometric expression: $$ \log(x)\approx \frac{\pi}{2M(1,4/s)}-m\log(2);\quad s=x 2^m>2^{p/2} $$ for $p$ bits of precision.

Unfortunately, these all take about the same amount of time. The code below is for 6 million digits and the best time is about 23 seconds. I would like to compute $\ln(x)$ to about 60 million digits of precision as fast as possible in regards to computing $\Phi(0,10^8)$ explained in the links to this problem: https://artofproblemsolving.com/community/c7h2320487_fixed_points_of_an_iterated_exponential

totalD = 6000000;
 set up A-G mean parameters
myPi = SetPrecision[Pi, totalD];
myLog2 = SetPrecision[Log[2], totalD];
pFun[x_] := Ceiling[x Log[10]/Log[2]];
mFun[p_] := Ceiling[1/Log[2] (p/2 Log[2] - Log[10])];
sFun[m_] := 10 2^m;
  check built-in Log:
 actVal = SetPrecision[Log[10], totalD];
 check arithmetic-geometric mean approach
 pVal = pFun[totalD];
 mVal = mFun[pVal];
 sVal = sFun[mVal];
 denom = SetPrecision[ArithmeticGeometricMean[1, 4/sVal], totalD];
 myVal = SetPrecision[myPi/(2 denom) - mVal myLog2, totalD];
  check just the quotient expression of the inverted exp expression
y0 = 23/10;
   10 - Exp[y0])/(10 + Exp[y0]), totalD];

{23.911, Null}

{22.7023, Null}

{50.6573, Null}
  • $\begingroup$ What for? Isn't it art for art's sake? $\endgroup$
    – user64494
    Oct 30, 2020 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ This: artofproblemsolving.com/community/… $\Phi(0,10^8)$ becomes problematic. $\endgroup$
    – Dominic
    Oct 30, 2020 at 12:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related: mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/124418/… $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Oct 30, 2020 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that Michael. Seems from that thread Log[x] is already optimized and even though the arithmetic-geometric method is faster above, I don't have a good handle of how accurate the precision is that way. Only option then is just to either let it run for days or use a faster machine. $\endgroup$
    – Dominic
    Oct 30, 2020 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


Well It took a few minutes but I was able to run N[Log[10],6*10^6] on my laptop (Intel Core i7-8750H @ 2.2 GHz) in 330 seconds. Looking into the problem I found the OEIS sequence for the digits of Log(10) https://oeis.org/A002392 and in the references of this page the current world record of 1,200,000,000,100 digits: https://ehfd.github.io/world-record/natural-logarithm-of-10-log10/. This page includes a link to download the digits (more then 400 GB of data) and details on how they were computed. I have not found a good solution (in the rather limited time I spend researching this) to compute the digits faster in Mathematica BUT:

Reading about this I came across the tool y-cruncher (can be downloaded from multiple sources) which is purpose build to compute digits of mathematical constants. Using this command line tool to compute digits of Log[10] is very easy:

.\y-cruncher.exe custom log:10 -dec:100m -o "c:/log10/"

(on Windows) computes 100 million decimal digits of Log[10] and saves them to "c:/log10/". This took only 28 seconds on my machine (more then 10 times faster then Mathematica where I only computed 60 million digits). I uploaded the decimal digits here (43 MB compressed).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that Nova. Wouldn't be able to use OEIS or y-cruncher as I need all the data to do at least two Newton Iterations. Took 10 minutes for 60 million digits on my 2.5 GHz machine and I need at least 60 similar 60-million digit precision operations to confirm $\Phi(0,10^8)$ so about 10 hours, I suspect I would run out of memory (have 16 GBytes) however. $\endgroup$
    – Dominic
    Oct 31, 2020 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ Well OEIS has only 80 digits online but I do not really see the problem regarding runtime and memory: 10 minutes times 60 is ten hours (one night) and those digits should not take up 16 GB: 100 million digits are around 100MB in a plain text file which would lead me to assume that 60 would take up 6GB. $\endgroup$
    – N0va
    Oct 31, 2020 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, will try to set it up tonight. Actually have 10 GB available and 18 virtual. $\endgroup$
    – Dominic
    Oct 31, 2020 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Went over the precision requirements and decided I only needed 32 million digits of working precision. Computed and verified $\Phi(0,10^8)$ in about 2 hours. $\Phi(0,10^9)$ would require 360 million. Suspect that's not reasonably attainable on my machine so will leave it for someone else to solve. $\endgroup$
    – Dominic
    Oct 31, 2020 at 19:07

UPDATE: As per comments below, this approach will not work.

cn = Compile[{{x, _Real}}, Log[x]];
AbsoluteTiming[res = SetPrecision[cn[10], 6000000];]   (* {0.003, Null} *}
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Afraid that won't work. Compile uses machine precision. Try comparing the results of that to just a N[Log[10],100]. $\endgroup$
    – Dominic
    Oct 30, 2020 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ Good point! I was fooled by Precision[res] giving the required precision. Passed machine precison we just have a bunch of zeros. $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2020 at 13:31

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