This video explains the fascinating history of ‘zero’

Posted 13 hours ago by in discover (de aici)

What is zero? Is it a number or a concept?

A charming video from *The Royal Institution* traces the origins of zero, and how it helped shape our global civilization:

The Babylonians used two symbols in different arrangements to create unique numbers 1 to 60.

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It wasn’t until the Indians began developing their own number system that zero would be defined explicitly – initially with nine number symbols and a small dot used to mark the absence of a number.

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In the seventh century mathematician Brahmagupta developed terms for zero in addition, in subtraction and in division.

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As the mathematics of India matured, it founds its way eastwards to China and westwards, influencing the Islamic and Arab cultures where it was instrumental in trade.

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But zero found resistance in Europe as the Hindu/Arabic system was opposed by the Roman Empires’ established numeral system.

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However by the 13th century academics such as the Italian mathematician Fibonacci were championing the new number system in their work, helping zero gain a solid foothold across Europe.

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Over the next four hundred years as mathematics evolved from more practical explanations to ever more abstracted functions, zero would form the cornerstone of calculus.

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As the binary numerical system formed the foundation for modern computer programming, zero – once again – stepped into the limelight to prove its worth.

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Have a look at the video in its entirety, below:

Screenshots via The Royal Institution YouTube



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