# Talk:0 (number)

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## As a number (Divide by Zero)

The first section (As a number) states that 0 is an even number as it is divisible by 0. This and the reference Parity of Zero are in-fact incorrect. Although the parity is indeed even division by zero is undefined as stated by Divisor Muhe001 (talk) 07:10, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

The article does not say that 0 is even because it is divisible by 0, it says 0 is even because it is divisible by 2. Hut 8.5 10:29, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

The number 0 is even because when divided by 2 there is no remainder, to be more specific. 207.207.127.233 (talk) 22:59, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

## Zero in Statistics (Null Hypothesis)

Shouldn't there be a mention of the Null Hypothesis, denoted by H0, as it is used in Hypothesis Testing in statistics? Since the Null Hypothesis as part of a hypothesis test denotes the current default theory (as the Null Hypothesis entry points out) being tested, and zero is considered the default placeholder, this article should certainly mention why the Null Hypothesis is considered "null". I would edit this in myself if I could, but I am not registered as a user here and felt it was a matter best brought here for discussion. I'm also not sure where in the article one would put this bit of information. Anyone want to look into this? 76.235.164.225 (talk) 00:45, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm willing to help, but I'm not quite sure that I understand your point. I assumed the H0 notation was merely a convention, similar to how some sequences start numbering at 0 rather than at 1. Do you have a source that discusses the necessity of this style of naming? Cliff (talk) 10:17, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

## Etymology (The Etymological Origin of the word zero is Sunya (Sanskrit) not Sifer(Arabic)

The word "zero" came via French zéro from Venetian zero, which (together with cipher) came via Italian zefiro from Arabic صفر, :ṣafira = "it was empty", ṣifr = "zero", "nothing".[4]

^^ This is incorrect. The Etymological Origin of Zero is from the Sanskrit word Sunya. Please correct this error. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunya The claim that Sifer is the Origin of Zero is based on the incorrect and outdated notions that Arabs invented the Zero.

Digital.l0gic (talk) 19:08, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

You need a reliable source saying that. Just because the Indians had zero and the Arabs got the idea from them does not mean that the name in English comes from Sanskrit rather than Arabic. Dmcq (talk) 19:27, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what will be considered a reliable source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.240.63.122 (talk) 02:51, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

It's common knowledge, and most modern mathematicians would accept it, but here is one source.

from Number words and number symbols: a cultural history of numbers By Karl Menninger page 401

Digital.l0gic (talk) 12:02, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Common knowledge, and most modern mathematicians would accept it, is not sufficient per wp:V, but the source looks OK — see also this books search.
Possible ref cite template string for the article:
<ref>{{cite book |title=Number words and number symbols: a cultural history of numbers |first1=Karl |last1=Menninger |publisher=Courier Dover Publications |year=1992 |isbn=0-486-27096-3 |page=401 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=BFJHzSIj2u0C}}, [http://books.google.com/books?id=BFJHzSIj2u0C&pg=PA401 Extract of page 401] </ref>
DVdm (talk) 09:36, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
This does not sound like what I understand etymology to mean. I believe it is supposed to refer to the linguistic form. Translation is not the same as adapting a linguistic form. Dmcq (talk) 10:12, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I think one could use that derivation but the first downward line is a translation rather than an etymological derivation and is an explanation of why the Arabic symbol was used. So how about, 'This was a translation of the Sanskrit word Sunya for empty'. Dmcq (talk) 10:20, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Oops, right. See below... DVdm (talk) 10:27, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Indeed, I agree. Actually, the source supports the current state of the article (etymology-wise, that is), but i.m.o. it can well be used to mention that zero as a concept was known in Sanscrit as "sunya" (empty). - DVdm (talk) 10:26, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Done Ok, I added the information with source and all. - DVdm (talk) 14:05, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

## "NULL" Value In Databases (Computer Science Section)

In the In computer science section, a paragraph read:

In databases, it is possible for a field not to have a value. It is then said to have a null value. For numeric fields it is not the value zero. For text fields this is not blank nor the empty string. The presence of null values leads to three-valued logic. No longer is a condition either true or false, but it can be undetermined. Any computation including a null value delivers a null result. Asking for all records with value 0 or value not equal 0 will not yield all records, since the records with value null are excluded.

I don't know how pedantic we want to get here but in this case NULL is indeed a value: operations using it are well-defined (as opposed to undefined). A better way to think of a nullable column of type T is that its type has been extended to another type whose values include all values of type T and additionally the value NULL, whose operations have been changed to (roughly) accept and ignore the value NULL, and where additional operations such as "IS NULL" and "IS NOT NULL" have been added.

At any rate, I've changed the first two sentences to fix the gross inaccuracy (the field "not having a value"); dunno what people want to do about the rest. Personally, I think this whole thing may not belong on this page, though I certainly see a parallel in the approach of naïve thinkers to this and to the concept of the number 0, which has been considered by some as not being a number. Cjs (talk) 04:29, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Oops, turns out the page is protected and I'd not noticed this. I suggest someone who can edit the page change the first two sentences to read

In SQL and many other databases, it's possible for a field to have the value NULL. This is an additional value that is not the same as 0 in numeric fields or an empty string in string fields.

Cjs (talk) 04:29, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

"Any computation including a null value delivers a null result." also isn't always true, especially for aggregate functions. Can you re-write that whole section you quoted above? I'll put it in the article for you. Cheers, — Bility (talk) 10:24, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

## Edit request on 11 January 2012

197.123.17.129 (talk) 02:42, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

What do you want to edit in this article? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 02:53, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

## 0 as an imaginary number

0 should be considered an imaginary number, as well as a real number. It would preserve the closure of addition and subtraction in the set of imaginary numbers. e.g., 5i-5i=0 It was also preserve the closure of addition and subtraction within sets of integer multiples of complex numbers. 96.229.217.189 (talk) 20:03, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

We're not hear to discuss how people should think about the subject, but simply what people think about the subject and how it should be integrated into the article. Do you have a reliable source for 0 being imaginary? Achowat (talk) 20:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure it was fair to assume that 96... meant "should" and "would" to be taken that literally, and i felt the need to find this (at [http://www.wiziq.com/tutorial/4132-Complex-Numbers-Topic-1 Complex Numbers Topic 1):
(iv) A complex number is an imaginary number if and only if its imaginary part is non-zero. Here real part may or may not be zero. 3 + 2i is an imaginary number but not purely imaginary. (v) All purely imaginary numbers except zero are imaginary numbers but an imaginary number may or may not be purely imaginary.
And still, having reassured myself by finding it, i admire the initiative of 96.... in taking the thot that far. While it is off-topic on this talk page, i'd be glad to share a few further thots with them (or others) via some subset of our User-talk pages.
--Jerzyt 04:03, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Whaaahoh! Chinese arithmetic Is it really the hardest thing there is? --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 05:21, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

It is simple or initial work, but there are a lot of contradictions and interrogations in this paper（Annotation of symbol basing on imaginary number and real number about zero）. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 222.213.242.134 (talk) 11:30, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

## O vs. Oh

Regarding Names for the number 0 in English: We've just had two edits on this. The first, earlier this morning, changed "Oh" to "O". The second (just now) reverted it. The OED online suggests that O is more correct, but Oh is acknowledged as a variant. Also, OED says ought is British, aught American. Zyxwv99 (talk) 20:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't see this earlier. I reverted it to 'o', as the relationship between the similarity in form of letter and number seems more relevant to the specific pronunciation, but added an IPA pronunciation guide for clarification.Number36 (talk) 23:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Me too. As i've said in my second edit summary for the sentence in question,
Actually, Merriam-Webster gives "o" as an alternate spelling of "oh", presumably in all the senses of "oh" that it recognizes.
and surely both the preferred and secondary are worth including. So i've just now included both.
Perhaps more controversially, i also added (earlier) the limitation
in contexts where at least one adjacent digit distinguishes it from the letter "O"
even tho i don't know where i'd look to find verification that the uses are all like "Double-oh-7", "PT-1-oh-9", "Boeing 7-oh-7", and "the six-oh-five" (and i am not the one who added that text to the lead of the interstate article). Oh, hell, i just thot of double-aught buckshot -- no, wait a minit: actually my argument says people are more likely to say "double-aught buckshot" than "double-oh buckshot" -- and that is the case with both me (tho i'm not a shooter) and with our article.
--Jerzyt 06:09, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

## Edit request on 31 May 2012

To fix a typo, please change "calculation s" to "calculations" in the following sentence:

"Since the 4th century BC, counting rods were used in China for decimal calculation s including"

96.236.123.4 (talk) 13:45, 31 May 2012 (UTC) Taken care of. Thanks! Achowat (talk) 13:54, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

## Vague

Someone polka-dotted the section about ancient China with claims of vagueness for perfectly clear statements. I think they should all be removed (the claims, not the statements). Dauto (talk) 16:28, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

They are vague. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
No they are not. there is plenty of contest that make them clear. Besides, many of the statements are quotations (well, translations of quotations) and it makes no sense to attach "vague" marks to them. The vague marks are distracting and are doing more harm than good. Dauto (talk) 21:38, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
They aren't clear English; may be a bad translation of the original (Chinese?). In fact, they are so bad, it might be better to leave it in the original Chinese. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:04, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
The sentences aren't just vague, they're not cited. I've provided a source, but it needs more work.--Ninthabout (talk) 01:10, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

## Origin of zero as a number

I don't believe the current article is clear about when and to whom modern scholarship attributes the origin of "zero" as a number. There are a lot of indvidual statements under "History" that hint as such attribution, but even within the regional paragraphs, the dates bounce around, making it hard even to pin down this essential claim for some regions, let alone the world:

• Mesopotamia: 2 millenium BC, 300 BC, 700 BC; conclusion: not a true digit
• China: 4th century BC, 213 BC, undated, 8th century (AD?), 1247, 15th century (AD); conclusion: no specific conclusion, but the 213 BC reference seems to assert use of zero as number for calculations, which seems to me to be the earliest documented use
• Arab world: chronologically consistent sequence of 500 AD, 825 AD, 12th century AD; conclusion: unclear if "explanation of the use of zero" is its use as a digit, but definite statement of use in its inclusion in 12th-century Arabic numerals
• Greeks and Romans: "ancient Greeks", "Medieval period", 130 AD (although Greek numerals#Hellenistic zero gives 140 AD), 525 (AD), 725 (AD); conclusion: Old-World use established in 130 AD (or 140 AD per "Hellenistic zero")
• Americas: 36 BC, 4th century BC; conclusion: unclear, although implies 36-BC use (and possible pre-4th-century-BC Olmec use) was an origin for this concept

Adding to the confusion, the region sections include unqualified statements like "The oldest known text to use a decimal place-value system, including a zero, is the Jain text from India..." which, in the absence of an initial, essential statement under "History", may (inaccurately) be read as global origin.

Encyclopedia articles should have a basic answer to obvious questions, followed by details that make clear the scholarship behind such assertions. This article doesn't seem to make any basic statement about when "zero as a number" arose, and the details seem rather whiplash-inducing rather than clearly informative. Could regular editors of this article consider arranging the "History" material so that it (A) leads with the earliest documented origins, and (B) includes a chronogical progression for each region? Thank you for your consideration. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:58, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

It might be helpful to break down the various mathematical concepts subsumed under the term "zero." For example, the Almagest uses the Greek letter omicron as a symbol for zero in giving the positions of stars in degrees, minutes and seconds. Zero can also represent the empty set in "sheep-counting numbers," i.e., for whole numbers of things that cannot have fractional values, such as live sheep. Zero can also be the central reference point on a number line where non-integer values are allowed, such as real or rational. The 12-o'clock position on a clock is a sort of zero (in the sense of Ptolemy's omicron). And finally, at some point in history, came the realization that all these zeros are related and can share a common name, which is yet another sense of zero altogether. The wheel went through something similar: some civilizations had the potter's wheel but no wheeled vehicles, others had it the other way around. This demonstrates how an invention that involves a single application of a concept doesn't necessarily imply understanding of the underlying concept. Zyxwv99 (talk) 16:57, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
To add to the conusion, the early Chinese example doesn't seem related to the concept of "number", but to recording counting-rod positions. They also had what we would call numbers, which did not include 0. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:16, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Why are the Chinese entries in these sorts of articles always so bogus? Can't trust a word of what's written about China, even by so called scholars. 46.11.118.233 (talk) 09:24, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
The Chinese example lacks sources, but your anti-intellectual comment dismissing scholars is not helpful. A History of Mathematics : From Mesopotamia to Modernity is an excellent academic book published by Oxford University Press on the subject, and should be used to improve the Chinese, and Mesopotamian, Indian, Arab, and Greek entries.--Ninthabout (talk) 00:54, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I did some research, and what Arthur Rubin has said appears to be correct. The Chinese "zero" was not a number, but literally an empty space, used for calculations. See A History of Mathematics, page 85.--Ninthabout (talk) 01:07, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

## Removed parts of the Chinese entry

I've removed large chunks of the Chinese entry. The sentences were either weakly cited or not cited at all. [1] Looks like original research. I have replaced the content with better academic sources. Let me know if there's anything that needs changing.--Ninthabout (talk) 10:00, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Your text is a great improvement on what was there. There does however seem good evidence of the use of counting rods from the warring states period (4-200BC) and probably earlier, with the implicit evidence that a positional system was used, but the Sunzi Suanjing (usually reckoned 3-5th C AD) is the first clear description. Chris55 (talk) 11:31, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

## Should be New World, not Old ?

I believe this paragraph mistakenly says Old World instead of New: "Although zero became an integral part of Maya numerals, it did not influence Old World numeral systems. Quipu, a knotted cord device, used in the Inca Empire and its predecessor societies in the Andean region to record accounting and other digital data, is encoded in a base ten positional system. Zero is represented by the absence of a knot in the appropriate position." The Maya were not in a position to influence Old World numeral systems, and the rest of the paragraph continues talking about the New World. Jintian (talk) 05:16, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

It is just stating the obvious but unfortunately that quite often needs to be stated in an encyclopaeddia. Dmcq (talk) 12:37, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

## In other fields...

Old text:

In some countries and some company phone networks, dialing 0 on a telephone places a call for operator assistance.

Recommended text: (It may be better to break this out into a separate subsection)

In most countries, dialing 0 prefixes making a call to a non-local dialing area; for example, in the United Kingdom, a telephone subscriber in London wishing to call a number in Manchester would dial 0161 plus the Manchester telephone number.

In North American Numbering Plan (NANPA) areas, dialing 0 by itself connects the caller to operator assistance for their local telephone service provider. Dialing 00 connects the caller to operator assistance for their long-distance telephone service provider. Dialing 0 plus area code plus number indicates a call for which operator assistance is requested.

In NANPA areas, 0 also is the prefix for directly dialing an international number; 011 plus country code plus number indicates a call to be directly connected, while 01 plus country code plus number indicates a call for which operator assistance is requested.

Emmayche (talk) 14:58, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

## Zero can not be an amount

Hi. Just noticed that the page contains the following. "Zero is a number which quantifies a count or an amount of null size." which is subtly incorrect. Amounts are material sums by definition; zero is an immaterial value by definition. Despite the common saying, you can't "amount to zero", because zero is the lack of an amount. I think the correct phrasing would be "Zero is a number which quantifies a count or a sum of null size." 2001:470:1F09:1183:94F7:DB9A:66B2:F21C (talk) 16:15, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Similarly, I came here hoping for an argument (maybe philosophical) that zero was not actually a number, since it is by definition not anything, or at least the sign for it. But it seems there is only one view here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.209.105.252 (talkcontribs) 12:26, July 8, 2013‎
I am not a philosopher, exactly. I am a mathematician. and that is absolutely wrong in mathematics and sciences such as physics. 0 is a count and an amount. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:08, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
Using the word "amount" is completely correct, and using the word "sum" is repetitive of the word "count", which is already there. The claim that "zero is not an amount" is almost like saying the concept of zero doesn't exist, which is ridiculous. I think it would be best to just keep the current wording. — |J~Pæst|  08:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_vacui_(physics) Ergo "Nature abhors a vacuum". Since a measureable value of zero can never really be achieved. Zero is a mathematical construct, just as much as infinity. Not a physical construct, but math is used extensively to model physical behavior. Heisenberg uncertainty principle and other quantum therory only adds to physical uncertainty. 97.95.33.234 (talk) 03:05, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
"If Nature abhors a vacuum, why did she create so much of it?" And 0 is clearly not a mathematical constant. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 11:02, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

## Move discussion in progress

There is a discussion on the page Talk:1 (number) whose outcome affects this page. — |J~Pæst|  08:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to.... — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:57, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Parity of zero seem to... Veyselperu (talk) 07:37, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

## fulfil

In the second sentence, "fulfil" should be changed to "fulfill".

74.94.165.137 (talk) 17:12, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Done, thanks. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
There was nothing wrong with the spelling. Why was it changed. Fulfil is a correct spelling. --Dmol (talk) 21:06, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
It's not in my dictionary. "Dictionary.com" says "see fulfill. In Wiktionary, it's marked as (UK), with fulfill marked as (US). If it's an WP:ENGVAR question, I was wrong, but I don't see anything else that looks like British English, and I can't easily scan to see if there is any American English. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:15, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

## oh in the context of telephone numbers

"In British English, it is often called oh in the context of telephone numbers."

This is certainly true in American English too, quite often-- often enough that I'm not sure it's possible that it could be done more often in British English, unless it's said "oh" practically every single time in British English.

Is anyone aware of a dialect of English in which it's not often said "oh" in the context of telephone numbers? M-1 (talk) 20:13, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Not a dialect, but I say "zero" when giving my number because it has repeated zeroes. 0085 when "said oh-oh-eight-five" can be heard as "oh-eight-five" leading people to think they missed a number. I've learned that nobody misses a number when I say "zero-zero-eight-five". I still say 3-oh-3 though. Cliff (talk) 22:26, 24 February 2014 (UTC)