The Neper reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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In telecommunication, a neper (Np) is a unit used to express ratios, such as gain, loss, and relative values. The name is derived from John Napier, the inventor of logarithms.

Like the bel it is a logarithmic measure; the difference being that where the bel uses base-10 logarithms to compute ratios, the neper uses base e (2.71828182846...). The value in nepers, Np , is given by Np = ln(x1/x2), where x1 and x2 are the values of interest, and ln is the natural logarithm, that is, logarithm to the base e.

The neper is often used to express voltage and current ratios, whereas the decibel is usually used to express power ratios. Taking that into account we have

1 neper (Np) = 8.686 dB, where 8.686 = 20/(ln 10).

Like the decibel, the neper is a dimensionless unit. The ITU recognizes both units.

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188

In Egyptian mythology, Neper was a god of grain, especially barley and emmer wheat. His female counterpart was Nepit.