American Scientist 86 (4), pp. 358-363.

**ISSN/ISBN:** 0003-0996
**DOI:** 10.1511/1998.4.358

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**Abstract:** A century ago, Simon Newcomb observed an unexpected pattern in the first digits of logarithm tables: The digit 1 is significantly more likely to occur than 2, 2 than 3, and so on. More than a half-century later, Frank Benford rediscovered the first-digit phenomenon and found that it applied to many tables of numerical data, including the stock market, census statistics and accounting figures. New mathematical insights establish the empirical law developed by Newcomb and Benford as part of modern probability theory, and recent applications include testing of mathematical models, design of computers and detection of fraud in accounting.

**Bibtex:**

```
@article{,
title={The First Digit Phenomenon},
author={Hill, Theodore P},
journal={American Scientist},
volume={86},
number={4},
pages={358--363},
year={1998},
publisher={Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society},
ISSN={0003-0996},
DOI={10.1511/1998.4.358},
}
```

**Reference Type:** Journal Article

**Subject Area(s):** General Interest