“A ZERO itself is nothing, but without a zero you cannot count anything; therefore, a zero is something, yet zero.”DALAI LAMA
Most think the zero as nothing or it indicates nothing. In other words, they consider the value of zero as zero. There are philosophers for whom zero doesn’t even exist. In sense, the computer world keeps records and stores all the data of the world. It listens or works only on ‘0’ and ‘1’. Staring from nothing, Zero can represent half of the entire computer world.
Zero is a neither positive nor negative number. Zero quantifies a count or amount null. But in position has a higher weight.
History of Zero
The Sumerians were the first to develop a counting system in order to keep the record of the stock of goods but there was no zero in it in fact. The system was handed to the Akkadians and then to the Babylonians in 2000 BC. The Babylonians were the first to mark a significant absence of a number. They kept a placeholder. The ancient Greek mathematicians who learned from the Egyptians too had no name for zero.
Zero was first understood by the Indians as symbol and as an idea. Brahmagupta, a mathematician and an astronomer was the first to formalize zero in arithmetic operations in around 650AD. It was referred as ‘Sunya’. It took almost a thousand years to set its root in Europe which time was much longer than to set in China or Middle East.
There is something written by an Italian Mathematician Fibonacci: “The method of the Indians surpasses any known method to compute. It’s a marvelous method. They do their computations using nine figures and the symbol zero.” Original Site.
Also Check: The Secrets of PI
The Value of Zero
Zero might have no value on its own but is a beast when comes to be placed in position. It is the beginner of the modern mathematics.
Algebra, Algorithms and Calculus
One cannot imagine mathematics and modern algebra, algorithms and calculus without zero. Zero, neither positive, nor negative; may or not be considered as a natural number. It is an integer and indeed a rational number and a real as well. It is neither prime nor composite and has its own significance. The number zero provides more accurate way of describing fractions. Adding zero at the end of any number increases the magnitude. On the other hand, adding zero in beginning with a zero decreases magnitude. Algebra, algorithms and calculus form the pillar of modern mathematics while zero is the brick that help in the formation of pillars.
In Set Theory, Zero indicates the cardinality of the empty set.
zero values the false statement in logic theory.
When comes to category, Zero implies the initial object of the category.
Zero has its own significance and is used accordingly in functions, lattice theory and other corners of mathematics.
Physics is broad. Zero is present in different places of physics playing different characters. From 0 kelvin, which indicated the absolute temperature to 0C which is the freezing point of water. Also from zero gravity in space to Zero-point energy as the lowest possible energy in quantum mechanical physical system. From being a reference point to measure any quantity to being the initial part of hundreds of derivation and integration factor, the null quantity seems to be one of the most valuable quantity numbers in the entire universe of physics.
Today’s world is computerized. Every data and statistics and information is stored in the computer. And the important thing to know is computer understands is binary that is 0 and 1. In gist, Zero holds half of the computer world.
In database and programming, Null or Zero has their own significance. When a database has no value, it turns to have a null value. In pointer, a null pointer is the pointer that doesn’t point any object or function.
Zero also indicated the false logic, or off or negative result in logic and simulation.
Not only in mathematics, but zero also seems to be present in atoms as zero atomic number of theoretical element tetra neutron. Besides, it also represents ellipse, cirlces and so on.
Do Check: The magic of Fibonacci Numbers
Zero has no value of its own but is the most valuable number in mathematics, physics, and other fields. Any number may have their own value but they are always close to zero than to infinity. Without zero, modern mathematics and modern calculations in physics just remain an imagination. In conclusion, Zero has no value in it but can change value of anything else.
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I am an Electrical Engineering Undergraduate at Kathmandu University, Nepal. I am also an executive board of Kathmandu Univerisity Robotics Club. I love robotics, technology, space, and energy.