Zero - concept and symbol

Zero - concept and symbol

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Zero, symbolised by the numeric character 0, is both a number and a numerical digit that acts as a placeholder in place-number value systems. The number zero is of fundamental importance to the solution of most mathematical problems. It is the Additive Identity, representing the number between the set of negative numbers and the set of positive numbers; a cardinal number denoting the absence of all quantity or magnitude and an ordinal number indicating the initial point or origin. The use of 0 as a placeholder in the decimal system allows the computation of the very large numbers found in modern astronomy, physics and chemistry. Historically the concept of zero developed from Babylonian times through the 5th and 9th centuries in India and the Islamic world, arriving in Eurpoe in 1202 with the publication of Liber Abaci by Fibonacci.

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Keywords: additive identity, al-khwarizmi, algebra, arab, arabic, aryabhata, babylonian, brahmagupta, cipher, decimal system, digit, fibonacci, gwalior, hindu-arabic, india, islam, liber abaci, mathematics, nil, nought, number, numeral, numeric, numerical, place-number system, placeholder, real numbers, sifr, zero

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