Why Zero Is So Ridiculously Important

Zero is a strange beast. It took until the 7th century for itto be explicitly recognized as a number in its own right, when the ancient Indians developed a numericalsystem that expressed zero with its own symbol. Since the development of thisnumber system, which we still use today, zero has been instrumental inour exploration of mathematics.

The human use of numbers sprang from the practical need to count things, but at thetime zero was only used to denote an absence of value. In this light, could it even be considered a number? As human thought progressed, however, and mathematics became more of an abstract process to unravel reality, zero started to prove itself as a very useful tool.

This animated video from The Royal Institution, narrated by mathematician Hannah Fry, tells the story of this winding history, from its role inancient civilizations to our current world of computer technology, and explains how zero became a mathematical hero.

 

 

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/what-zero-and-why-it-so-important

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