History of mathematics

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munawar butt | 20:18 Thu 19th Oct 2006 | History
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1 – 1 = 0 “zero is a code of nothingness in modern mathematics” Zero is a mathematics tool like as +, -, x, /
Is zero nothing” a number, numeral or digit?


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0 (zero) is a number (or, more precisely, a numeral representing a number) and a numerical digit. Zero is the last digit to be incorporated in most numeral systems.

NUMBER: 0 is the integer that precedes the positive 1, and follows −1. In most (if not all) numerical systems, 0 was identified before the idea of 'negative integers' was accepted.

NUMERAL: The modern numeral 0 is normally written as a circle or (rounded) rectangle. In old-style fonts with text figures, 0 is usually the same height as a lowercase x.

DIGIT: Positional notation without the use of zero (using an empty space in tabular arrangements, or the word kha "emptiness") is known to have been in use in India from the 6th century. The earliest certain use of zero as a decimal positional digit dates to the 9th century. The glyph for the zero digit was written in the shape of a dot, and consequently called bindu "dot".

Records show that the ancient Greeks seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number: they asked themselves "How can nothing be something?", leading to interesting philosophical and, by the Medieval period, religious arguments about the nature and existence of zero and the vacuum. The paradoxes of Zeno of Elea depend in large part on the uncertain interpretation of zero. (The ancient Greeks even questioned that 1 was a number.)

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