Q:

Who invented the number zero?

A:

Quick Answer

The zero symbol first appeared around 2000 B.C. when the ancient Babylonians used it to mark that something was missing. As a concept and a number, however, the zero was invented in India around 650 B.C.

Continue Reading
Who invented the number zero?
Credit: Ryan McVay Photodisc Getty Images

Full Answer

Brahmagupta was the first person to formalize arithmetic operations using zero. He placed dots under numbers to represent zero, calling them "sunya," which means empty, or 'kha," which means place. He also wrote the standard rules for reaching zero through addition and subtraction, as well as the results of any operations with zero. It would take until 879 A.D. for the number zero to make it to Europe and become the oval shape used today.

Learn more about Numbers

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are numeric numbers?

    A:

    A numeric number, more commonly referred to as a numeral, is a symbol or name used to represent a number. A numeral may be expressed in words, such as seventy-five, or by arranging digits in a place-value system, such as by writing 75.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does 3 mean?

    A:

    The symbol 3 is a numeral representing the number that is three units larger than zero. The same concept can be written in other ways, such as writing "three" or using a tally to write "|||."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the history of whole numbers?

    A:

    The history of whole numbers is as old as the concept of counting itself, but the first written whole numbers appeared between 3100 and 3400 B.C. Prior to that time, whole numbers were written as tally marks, and there are records of tally marks denoting whole numbers that date back to 30,000 B.C.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who discovered the golden ratio?

    A:

    The golden ratio was first recorded and defined in written form around 300 B.C. by the Greek mathematician Euclid in his major work "Elements." It is believed that the ancient Greeks may have used the golden ratio to determine the proportions of the golden rectangle in their architecture, such as in the dimensions of the face of the Parthenon, which predates Euclid's "Elements" by more than 100 years. Some scholars, however, disagree with the premise that the specific mathematical ratio was consciously used as a component of architectural design prior to Euclid's written definition of it.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore