Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
|Published||February 7, 2000|
|Media type||Print, e-book|
|Followed by||Alpha & Omega|
The book offers a comprehensive look at number 0 and its controverting role as one of the great paradoxes of human thought and history since its invention by the ancient Babylonians or the Indian people. Even though zero is a fundamental idea for the modern science, initially the notion of a complete absence got a largely negative, sometimes hostile, treatment by the Western world and Greco-Roman philosophy. Zero won 2001 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction Book.
Of course, Seife's book is not a typical biography. There are no tell-all interviews with the number one or any of zero's other neighbors on the number line... Seife's book begins—of course—at Chapter Zero, with a story of how only recently a divide by zero error in its control software brought the guided missile cruiser USS Yorktown grinding to a halt. As Seife relates, "Though it was armored against weapons, nobody had thought to defend the Yorktown from zero. It was a grave mistake." Maybe it's not the pulse-pounding drama of a Tom Clancy novel, but it's enough foreshadowing to launch Seife on an essay which begins with notches on a 30,000-year-old wolf bone and ends with the role of zero in black holes and the big bang.
- "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife". amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Moskowitz, Clara (March 25, 2013). "What is nothing? Physicists debate". foxnews.com. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
- Suplee, Curt (January 12, 2000). "The History of Zero". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- Leahy, Andrew (April 15, 2000). "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife". maa.org. Retrieved 2015-07-15.