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0 (number)

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"Zero" redirects here. For other uses, see Zero (disambiguation).
−1 0 1
−1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cardinal 0, zero, "oh" (/ˈ/), nought, naught, nil
Ordinal zeroth, noughth
Divisors all other numbers
Binary 02
Ternary 03
Quaternary 04
Quinary 05
Senary 06
Octal 08
Duodecimal 012
Hexadecimal 016
Vigesimal 020
Base 36 036
Arabic ٠,0
Urdu ۰ (صفر)
Bengali (shunyo)
Devanāgarī (shunya)
Chinese 零, 〇
Japanese 零, 〇

0 (zero; BrE: /ˈzɪərəʊ/ or AmE: /ˈziːroʊ/) is both a number[1] and the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals. It fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, 0 is used as a placeholder in place value systems. Names for the number 0 in English include zero, nought or (US) naught (/ˈnɔːt/), nil, or — in contexts where at least one adjacent digit distinguishes it from the letter "O" — oh or o (/ˈ/). Informal or slang terms for zero include zilch and zip.[2] Ought and aught (/ˈɔːt/), as well as cipher, have also been used historically.[3]


The word zero came into the English language via French zéro from Italian zero, Italian contraction of Venetian zevero form of 'Italian zefiro via ṣafira or ṣifr.[4] In pre-Islamic time the word ṣifr (Arabic صفر) had the meaning 'empty'.[5] Sifr evolved to mean zero when it was used to translate śūnya (Sanskrit: शून्य) from India.[5] The first known English use of zero was in 1598.[6]

The Italian mathematician Fibonacci (c.1170–1250), who grew up in North Africa and is credited with introducing the decimal system to Europe, used the term zephyrum. This became zefiro in Italian, and was then contracted to zero in Venetian. The Italian word zefiro was already in existence (meaning "west wind" from Latin and Greek zephyrus) and may have influenced the spelling when transcribing Arabic ṣifr.[7]

Modern usage

There are different words used for the number or concept of zero depending on the context. For the simple notion of lacking, the words nothing and none are often used. Sometimes the words nought, naught and aught[8] are used. Several sports have specific words for zero, such as nil in football, love in tennis and a duck in cricket. It is often called oh in the context of telephone numbers. Slang words for zero include zip, zilch, nada, and scratch. Duck egg or goose egg are also slang for zero.[9]


Ancient Near East

heart with trachea
beautiful, pleasant, good

Ancient Egyptian numerals were base 10. They used hieroglyphs for the digits and were not positional. By 1740 BC, the Egyptians had a symbol for zero in accounting texts. The symbol nfr, meaning beautiful, was also used to indicate the base level in drawings of tombs and pyramids and distances were measured relative to the base line as being above or below this line.[10]

By the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, the Babylonian mathematics had a sophisticated sexagesimal positional numeral system. The lack of a positional value (or zero) was indicated by a space between sexagesimal numerals. By 300 BC, a punctuation symbol (two slanted wedges) was co-opted as a placeholder in the same Babylonian system. In a tablet unearthed at Kish (dating from about 700 BC), the scribe Bêl-bân-aplu wrote his zeros with three hooks, rather than two slanted wedges.[11]

The Babylonian placeholder was not a true zero because it was not used alone. Nor was it used at the end of a number. Thus numbers like 2 and 120 (2×60), 3 and 180 (3×60), 4 and 240 (4×60), looked the same because the larger numbers lacked a final sexagesimal placeholder. Only context could differentiate them.

Classical Antiquity

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 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.

Example of the early Greek symbol for zero (lower right corner) from a 2nd-century papyrus

By 130 AD, Ptolemy, influenced by Hipparchus and the Babylonians, was using a symbol for zero (a small circle with a long overbar) within a sexagesimal numeral system otherwise using alphabetic Greek numerals. Because it was used alone, not just as a placeholder, this Hellenistic zero was perhaps the first documented use of a number zero in the Old World. However, the positions were usually limited to the fractional part of a number (called minutes, seconds, thirds, fourths, etc.)—they were not used for the integral part of a number. In later Byzantine manuscripts of Ptolemy's Syntaxis Mathematica (also known as the Almagest), the Hellenistic zero had morphed into the Greek letter omicron (otherwise meaning 70).

Another zero was used in tables alongside Roman numerals by 525 (first known use by Dionysius Exiguus), but as a word, nulla meaning "nothing", not as a symbol. When division produced zero as a remainder, nihil, also meaning "nothing", was used. These medieval zeros were used by all future medieval computists (calculators of Easter). The initial "N" was used as a zero symbol in a table of Roman numerals by Bede or his colleague around 725.

India and Southeast Asia

The concept of zero as a digit in the decimal place value notation has developed in India, presumably as early as during the Gupta period (c. 5th century), with the oldest unambiguous evidence dating to the 7th century.[12]

The Indian scholar Pingala (c. 200 BC) used a binary numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter equal in length to two short syllables), a notation similar to Morse code.[13] Pingala used the Sanskrit word śūnya explicitly to refer to zero.[14]

The earliest text to use a decimal place-value system, including a zero, the Lokavibhāga, a Jain text surviving in a medieval Sanskrit translation of the Prakrit original, which is internally dated to AD 458 (Saka era 380). In this text, śūnya ("void, empty") is also used to refer to zero.[15]

The origin of the modern decimal-based place value notation can be traced to the Aryabhatiya (c. 500), which states sthānāt sthānaṁ daśaguṇaṁ syāt "from place to place each is ten times the preceding",[16][16][17][18]

The rules governing the use of zero appeared for the first time in the Brahmasputha Siddhanta (7th century). This work considers not only zero, but negative numbers, and the algebraic rules for the elementary operations of arithmetic with such numbers. In some instances, his rules differ from the modern standard, specifically the definition of the value of zero divided by zero as zero.[19]


The number 605 in Khmer numerals, from the Sambor inscription (Saka era 605 corresponds to AD 683). The earliest known material use of zero as a decimal figure.

There are numerous copper plate inscriptions, with the same small o in them, some of them possibly dated to the 6th century, but their date or authenticity may be open to doubt.[11]

A stone tablet found in the ruins of a temple near Sambor on the Mekong, Kratié Province, Cambodia, includes the inscription of "605" in Khmer numerals (a set of numeral glyphs of the Hindu numerals family). The number is the year of the inscription in the Saka era, corresponding to a date of AD 683.[20]

The first known use of special glyphs for the decimal digits that includes the indubitable appearance of a symbol for the digit zero, a small circle, appears on a stone inscription found at the Chaturbhuja Temple at Gwalior in India, dated 876.[21][22]


This is a depiction of zero expressed in Chinese counting rods, based on the example provided by A History of Mathematics. An empty space is used to represent zero.[23]

The Sunzi Suanjing, of unknown date but estimated to be dated from the 1st to 5th centuries, and Japanese records dated from the eighteenth century, describe how counting rods were used for calculations. According to A History of Mathematics, the rods "gave the decimal representation of a number, with an empty space denoting zero."[23] The counting rod system is considered a positional notation system.[24]

Zero was not treated as a number at that time, but as a "vacant position", unlike the Indian mathematicians who developed the numerical zero.[25] Ch'in Chiu-shao's 1247 Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections is the oldest surviving Chinese mathematical text using a round symbol for zero.[26] Chinese authors had been familiar with the idea of negative numbers by the Han Dynasty (2nd century AD), as seen in the The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art,[27] much earlier than the fifteenth century when they became well established in Europe.[26]

Middle Ages

Transmission to Islamic culture

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 about the 6th century.[citation needed] The glyph for the zero digit was written in the shape of a dot, and consequently called bindu ("dot"). A dot had also been used in Greece during earlier ciphered numeral periods.

The Arabic-language inheritance of science was largely Greek,[28] followed by Hindu influences.[29] In 773, at Al-Mansur's behest, translations were made of many ancient treatises including Greek, Latin, Indian, and others.

In AD 813, astronomical tables were prepared by a Persian mathematician, Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, using Hindu numerals;[29] and about 825, he published a book synthesizing Greek and Hindu knowledge and also contained his own contribution to mathematics including an explanation of the use of zero.[30] This book was later translated into Latin in the 12th century under the title Algoritmi de numero Indorum. This title means "al-Khwarizmi on the Numerals of the Indians". The word "Algoritmi" was the translator's Latinization of Al-Khwarizmi's name, and the word "Algorithm" or "Algorism" started meaning any arithmetic based on decimals.[29]

Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi, in 976, stated that if no number appears in the place of tens in a calculation, a little circle should be used "to keep the rows". This circle was called ṣifr.[31]

Transmission to Europe

The Hindu-Arabic numeral system (base 10) reached Europe in the 11th century, via the Iberian Peninsula through Spanish Muslims, the Moors, together with knowledge of astronomy and instruments like the astrolabe, first imported by Gerbert of Aurillac. For this reason, the numerals came to be known in Europe as "Arabic numerals". The Italian mathematician Fibonacci or Leonardo of Pisa was instrumental in bringing the system into European mathematics in 1202, stating:

After my father's appointment by his homeland as state official in the customs house of Bugia for the Pisan merchants who thronged to it, he took charge; and in view of its future usefulness and convenience, had me in my boyhood come to him and there wanted me to devote myself to and be instructed in the study of calculation for some days. There, following my introduction, as a consequence of marvelous instruction in the art, to the nine digits of the Hindus, the knowledge of the art very much appealed to me before all others, and for it I realized that all its aspects were studied in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Sicily, and Provence, with their varying methods; and at these places thereafter, while on business. I pursued my study in depth and learned the give-and-take of disputation. But all this even, and the algorism, as well as the art of Pythagoras, I considered as almost a mistake in respect to the method of the Hindus (Modus Indorum). Therefore, embracing more stringently that method of the Hindus, and taking stricter pains in its study, while adding certain things from my own understanding and inserting also certain things from the niceties of Euclid's geometric art. I have striven to compose this book in its entirety as understandably as I could, dividing it into fifteen chapters. Almost everything which I have introduced I have displayed with exact proof, in order that those further seeking this knowledge, with its pre-eminent method, might be instructed, and further, in order that the Latin people might not be discovered to be without it, as they have been up to now. If I have perchance omitted anything more or less proper or necessary, I beg indulgence, since there is no one who is blameless and utterly provident in all things. The nine Indian figures are: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. With these nine figures, and with the sign 0 ... any number may be written.[32][33]

Here Leonardo of Pisa uses the phrase "sign 0", indicating it is like a sign to do operations like addition or multiplication. From the 13th century, manuals on calculation (adding, multiplying, extracting roots, etc.) became common in Europe where they were called algorismus after the Persian mathematician al-Khwārizmī. The most popular was written by Johannes de Sacrobosco, about 1235 and was one of the earliest scientific books to be printed in 1488. Until the late 15th century, Hindu-Arabic numerals seem to have predominated among mathematicians, while merchants preferred to use the Roman numerals. In the 16th century, they became commonly used in Europe.

Pre-Columbian Americas

The back of Olmec stela C from Tres Zapotes, the second oldest Long Count date discovered. The numerals translate to September, 32 BC (Julian). The glyphs surrounding the date are thought to be one of the few surviving examples of Epi-Olmec script.

The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar developed in south-central Mexico and Central America required the use of zero as a place-holder within its vigesimal (base-20) positional numeral system. Many different glyphs, including this partial quatrefoilMAYA-g-num-0-inc-v1.svg—were used as a zero symbol for these Long Count dates, the earliest of which (on Stela 2 at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas) has a date of 36 BC.[34]

Since the eight earliest Long Count dates appear outside the Maya homeland,[35] it is assumed that the use of zero in the Americas predated the Maya and was possibly the invention of the Olmecs.[36] Many of the earliest Long Count dates were found within the Olmec heartland, although the Olmec civilization ended by the 4th century BC, several centuries before the earliest known Long Count dates.

Although zero became an integral part of Maya numerals, with a different, empty tortoise-like "shell shape" used for many depictions of the "zero" numeral, 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.


See also: parity of zero

0 is the integer immediately preceding 1. Zero is an even number,[37] because it is divisible by 2. 0 is neither positive nor negative. By most definitions[38] 0 is a natural number, and then the only natural number not to be positive. Zero is a number which quantifies a count or an amount of null size. In most cultures, 0 was identified before the idea of negative things, or quantities less than zero, was accepted.

The value, or number, zero is not the same as the digit zero, used in numeral systems using positional notation. Successive positions of digits have higher weights, so inside a numeral the digit zero is used to skip a position and give appropriate weights to the preceding and following digits. A zero digit is not always necessary in a positional number system, for example, in the number 02. In some instances, a leading zero may be used to distinguish a number.

Elementary algebra

The number 0 is the smallest non-negative integer. The natural number following 0 is 1 and no natural number precedes 0. The number 0 may or may not be considered a natural number, but it is a whole number and hence a rational number and a real number (as well as an algebraic number and a complex number).

The number 0 is neither positive nor negative and appears in the middle of a number line. It is neither a prime number nor a composite number. It cannot be prime because it has an infinite number of factors and cannot be composite because it cannot be expressed by multiplying prime numbers (0 must always be one of the factors).[39] Zero is, however, even.

The following are some basic (elementary) rules for dealing with the number 0. These rules apply for any real or complex number x, unless otherwise stated.

  • Addition: x + 0 = 0 + x = x. That is, 0 is an identity element (or neutral element) with respect to addition.
  • Subtraction: x − 0 = x and 0 − x = −x.
  • Multiplication: x · 0 = 0 · x = 0.
  • Division: 0x = 0, for nonzero x. But x0 is undefined, because 0 has no multiplicative inverse (no real number multiplied by 0 produces 1), a consequence of the previous rule.
  • Exponentiation: x0 = x/x = 1, except that the case x = 0 may be left undefined in some contexts. For all positive real x, 0x = 0.

The expression 00, which may be obtained in an attempt to determine the limit of an expression of the form f(x)g(x) as a result of applying the lim operator independently to both operands of the fraction, is a so-called "indeterminate form". That does not simply mean that the limit sought is necessarily undefined; rather, it means that the limit of f(x)g(x), if it exists, must be found by another method, such as l'Hôpital's rule.

The sum of 0 numbers is 0, and the product of 0 numbers is 1. The factorial 0! evaluates to 1.

Other branches of mathematics

Related mathematical terms

  • A zero of a function f is a point x in the domain of the function such that f(x) = 0. When there are finitely many zeros these are called the roots of the function. This is related to zeros of a holomorphic function.
  • The zero function (or zero map) on a domain D is the constant function with 0 as its only possible output value, i.e., the function f defined by f(x) = 0 for all x in D. The zero function is the only function that is both even and odd. A particular zero function is a zero morphism in category theory; e.g., a zero map is the identity in the additive group of functions. The determinant on non-invertible square matrices is a zero map.
  • Several branches of mathematics have zero elements, which generalise either the property 0 + x = x, or the property 0 × x = 0, or both.


The value zero plays a special role for many physical quantities. For some quantities, the zero level is naturally distinguished from all other levels, whereas for others it is more or less arbitrarily chosen. For example, for an absolute temperature (as measured in kelvins) zero is the lowest possible value (negative temperatures are defined, but negative-temperature systems are not actually colder). This is in contrast to for example temperatures on the Celsius scale, where zero is arbitrarily defined to be at the freezing point of water. Measuring sound intensity in decibels or phons, the zero level is arbitrarily set at a reference value—for example, at a value for the threshold of hearing. In physics, the zero-point energy is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may possess and is the energy of the ground state of the system.


Zero has been proposed as the atomic number of the theoretical element tetraneutron. It has been shown that a cluster of four neutrons may be stable enough to be considered an atom in its own right. This would create an element with no protons and no charge on its nucleus.

As early as 1926, Professor Andreas von Antropoff coined the term neutronium for a conjectured form of matter made up of neutrons with no protons, which he placed as the chemical element of atomic number zero at the head of his new version of the periodic table. It was subsequently placed as a noble gas in the middle of several spiral representations of the periodic system for classifying the chemical elements.


  • The Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on May 23, 2955 BC and ended on June 29, 1675 BC. The duration of Saros series 0 was 1280.14 years, and it contained 72 solar eclipses.
  • The Saros number of the lunar eclipse series which began on March 1, 2653 BC and ended on April 30, 1337 BC. The duration of Saros series 0 was 1316.2 years, and it contained 74 lunar eclipses.

Computer science

The most common practice throughout human history has been to start counting at one, and this is the practice in early classic computer science programming languages such as Fortran and COBOL. However, in the late 1950s LISP introduced zero-based numbering for arrays while Algol 58 introduced completely flexible basing for array subscripts (allowing any positive, negative, or zero integer as base for array subscripts), and most subsequent programming languages adopted one or other of these positions. For example, the elements of an array are numbered starting from 0 in C, so that for an array of n items the sequence of array indices runs from 0 to n−1. This permits an array element's location to be calculated by adding the index directly to address of the array, whereas 1 based languages precalculate the array's base address to be the position one element before the first.

There can be confusion between 0 and 1 based indexing, for example Java's JDBC indexes parameters from 1 although Java itself uses 0-based indexing.

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.

A null pointer is a pointer in a computer program that does not point to any object or function. In C, the integer constant 0 is converted into the null pointer at compile time when it appears in a pointer context, and so 0 is a standard way to refer to the null pointer in code. However, the internal representation of the null pointer may be any bit pattern (possibly different values for different data types).

In mathematics −0 = +0 = 0, both −0 and +0 represent exactly the same number, i.e., there is no "negative zero" distinct from zero. In some signed number representations (but not the two's complement representation used to represent integers in most computers today) and most floating point number representations, zero has two distinct representations, one grouping it with the positive numbers and one with the negatives; this latter representation is known as negative zero.

Other fields

  • In telephony, pressing 0 is often used for dialling out of a company network or to a different city or region, and 00 is used for dialling abroad. In some countries, dialling 0 places a call for operator assistance.
  • DVDs that can be played in any region are sometimes referred to as being "region 0"
  • Roulette wheels usually feature a "0" space (and sometimes also a "00" space), whose presence is ignored when calculating payoffs (thereby allowing the house to win in the long run).
  • In Formula One, if the reigning World Champion no longer competes in Formula One in the year following their victory in the title race, 0 is given to one of the drivers of the team that the reigning champion won the title with. This happened in 1993 and 1994, with Damon Hill driving car 0, due to the reigning World Champion (Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost respectively) not competing in the championship.

Symbols and representations

Main article: Symbols for zero
Text figures 036.svg

The modern numerical digit 0 is usually written as a circle or ellipse. Traditionally, many print typefaces made the capital letter O more rounded than the narrower, elliptical digit 0.[40] Typewriters originally made no distinction in shape between O and 0; some models did not even have a separate key for the digit 0. The distinction came into prominence on modern character displays.[40]

A slashed zero can be used to distinguish the number from the letter. The digit 0 with a dot in the center seems to have originated as an option on IBM 3270 displays and has continued with some modern computer typefaces such as Andalé Mono, and in some airline reservation systems. One variation uses a short vertical bar instead of the dot. Some fonts designed for use with computers made one of the capital-O–digit-0 pair more rounded and the other more angular (closer to a rectangle). A further distinction is made in falsification-hindering typeface as used on German car number plates by slitting open the digit 0 on the upper right side. Sometimes the digit 0 is used either exclusively, or not at all, to avoid confusion altogether.

Year label

Main article: 0 (year)

In the BC calendar era, the year 1 BC is the first year before AD 1; there is not a year zero. By contrast, in astronomical year numbering, the year 1 BC is numbered 0, the year 2 BC is numbered −1, and so on.[41]

See also


  1. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1942). Principles of mathematics (2 ed.). Forgotten Books. p. 125. ISBN 1-4400-5416-9. , Chapter 14, page 125
  2. ^ Soanes, Catherine; Waite, Maurice; Hawker, Sara, eds. (2001). The Oxford Dictionary, Thesaurus and Wordpower Guide (Hardback) (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860373-3. 
  3. ^ aught at
  4. ^ See:
    • Douglas Harper (2011), Zero, Etymology Dictionary, Quote="figure which stands for naught in the Arabic notation," also "the absence of all quantity considered as quantity," c.1600, from French zéro or directly from Italian zero, from Medieval Latin zephirum, from Arabic sifr "cipher," translation of Sanskrit sunya-m "empty place, desert, naught";
    • Menninger, Karl (1992). Number words and number symbols: a cultural history of numbers. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 399–404. ISBN 0-486-27096-3. ;
    • "zero, n.". OED Online. Oxford University Press. December 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-04. French zéro (1515 in Hatzfeld & Darmesteter) or its source Italian zero , for *zefiro , < Arabic çifr 
  5. ^ a b See:
    • Smithsonian Institution, Oriental Elements of Culture in the Occident, p. 518, at Google Books, Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution; Harvard University Archives, Quote="Sifr occurs in the meaning of “empty” even in the pre-Islamic time. (...) Arabic sifr in the meaning of zero is a translation of the corresponding India sunya.”;
    • Jan Gullberg (1997), Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers, W.W. Norton & Co., ISBN 978-0393040029, page 26, Quote = ‘‘Zero derives from Hindu sunya - meaning void, emptiness - via Arabic sifr, Latin cephirum, Italian zevero.’’;
    • Robert Logan (2010), The Poetry of Physics and the Physics of Poetry, World Scientific, ISBN 978-9814295925, page 38, Quote = “The idea of sunya and place numbers was transmitted to the Arabs who translated sunya or “leave a space” into their language as sifr.”
  6. ^ Zero, Merriam Webster online Dictionary
  7. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000). The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-39340-1. 
  8. ^ 'Aught' definition, – Retrieved April 2013.
  9. ^ 'Aught' synonyms, – Retrieved April 2013.
  10. ^ George Gheverghese Joseph (2011). The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics (Third Edition). Princeton. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-691-13526-7. 
  11. ^ a b Kaplan, Robert. (2000). The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  12. ^ Bourbaki, Nicolas Elements of the History of Mathematics (1998), p. 46. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (2007), entry "Algebra"[clarification needed]
  13. ^ Math for Poets and Drummers (pdf, 145KB)
  14. ^ Kim Plofker (2009), Mathematics in India, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691120676, page 54-56. Quote - "In the Chandah-sutra of Pingala, dating perhaps the third or second century BC, [...] Pingala's use of a zero symbol [śūnya] as a marker seems to be the first known explicit reference to zero." Kim Plofker (2009), Mathematics in India, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691120676, 55-56. "In the Chandah-sutra of Pingala, dating perhaps the third or second century BC, there are five questions concerning the possible meters for any value “n”. [...] The answer is (2)7 = 128, as expected, but instead of seven doublings, the process (explained by the sutra) required only three doublings and two squarings - a handy time saver where “n” is large. Pingala’s use of a zero symbol as a marker seems to be the first known explicit reference to zero.
  15. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000), p. 416.
  16. ^ a b Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata, translated by Walter Eugene Clark.
  17. ^ O'Connor, Robertson, J.J., E. F. "Aryabhata the Elder". School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  18. ^ William L. Hosch, ed. (15 August 2010). The Britannica Guide to Numbers and Measurement (Math Explained). The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 97–98. ISBN 9781615301089. 
  19. ^ Algebra with Arithmetic of Brahmagupta and Bhaskara, translated to English by Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1817) London
  20. ^ Cœdès, Georges, "A propos de l'origine des chiffres arabes," Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1931, pp. 323-328. Diller, Anthony, "New Zeros and Old Khmer," The Mon-Khmer Studies Journal, Vol. 25, 1996, pp. 125-132.
  21. ^ Bill Casselman (University of British Columbia), American Mathematical Society, "All for Nought"
  22. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000), p. 400.
  23. ^ a b Luke Hodgkin (2 June 2005). A History of Mathematics : From Mesopotamia to Modernity: From Mesopotamia to Modernity. Oxford University Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-19-152383-0. 
  24. ^ Crossley, Lun. 1999, p.12 "the ancient Chinese system is a place notation system"
  25. ^ Kang-Shen Shen; John N. Crossley; Anthony W. C. Lun; Hui Liu (1999). The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art: Companion and Commentary. Oxford University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-19-853936-0. zero was regarded as a number in India... whereas the Chinese employed a vacant position 
  26. ^ a b Mathematics in the Near and Far East, p. 262
  27. ^ Struik, Dirk J. (1987). A Concise History of Mathematics. New York: Dover Publications. pp. 32–33. "In these matrices we find negative numbers, which appear here for the first time in history."
  28. ^ Pannekoek, A. (1961). A History of Astronomy. George Allen & Unwin. p. 165. 
  29. ^ a b c Will Durant (1950), The Story of Civilization, Volume 4, The Age of Faith: Constantine to Dante - A.D. 325-1300, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0965000758, p. 241, Quote = "The Arabic inheritance of science was overwhelmingly Greek, but Hindu influences ranked next. In 773, at Mansur's behest, translations were made of the Siddhantas - Indian astronomical treatises dating as far back as 425 BC; these versions may have the vehicle through which the "Arabic" numerals and the zero were brought from India into Islam. In 813, al-Khwarizmi used the Hindu numerals in his astronomical tables."
  30. ^ Brezina, Corona (2006). Al-Khwarizmi: The Inventor Of Algebra. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4042-0513-0. 
  31. ^ Will Durant (1950), The Story of Civilization, Volume 4, The Age of Faith, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0965000758, p. 241, Quote = "In 976, Muhammad ibn Ahmad, in his Keys of the Sciences, remarked that if, in a calculation, no number appears in the place of tens, a little circle should be used "to keep the rows". This circle the Mosloems called ṣifr, "empty" whence our cipher."
  32. ^ Sigler, L., Fibonacci's Liber Abaci. English translation, Springer, 2003.
  33. ^ Grimm, R.E., "The Autobiography of Leonardo Pisano", Fibonacci Quarterly 11/1 (February 1973), pp. 99–104.
  34. ^ No long count date actually using the number 0 has been found before the 3rd century AD, but since the long count system would make no sense without some placeholder, and since Mesoamerican glyphs do not typically leave empty spaces, these earlier dates are taken as indirect evidence that the concept of 0 already existed at the time.
  35. ^ Diehl, p. 186
  36. ^ Mortaigne, Véronique (November 28, 2014). "The golden age of Mayan civilisation – exhibition review". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  37. ^ Lemma B.2.2, The integer 0 is even and is not odd, in Penner, Robert C. (1999). Discrete Mathematics: Proof Techniques and Mathematical Structures. World Scientific. p. 34. ISBN 981-02-4088-0. 
  38. ^ Bunt, Lucas Nicolaas Hendrik; Jones, Phillip S.; Bedient, Jack D. (1976). The historical roots of elementary mathematics. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 254–255. ISBN 0-486-13968-9. , Extract of pages 254–255
  39. ^ Reid, Constance (1992). From zero to infinity: what makes numbers interesting (4th ed.). Mathematical Association of America. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-88385-505-8. 
  40. ^ a b Bemer, R. W. (1967). "Towards standards for handwritten zero and oh: much ado about nothing (and a letter), or a partial dossier on distinguishing between handwritten zero and oh". Communications of the ACM 10 (8): 513–518. doi:10.1145/363534.363563. 
  41. ^ Steel, Duncan (2000). Marking time: the epic quest to invent the perfect calendar. John Wiley & Sons. p. 113. ISBN 0-471-29827-1. In the B.C./A.D. scheme there is no year zero. After 31 December 1 BC came AD 1 January 1. ... If you object to that no-year-zero scheme, then don't use it: use the astronomer's counting scheme, with negative year numbers. 


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