Q:

# Who invented the number zero?

A:

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.

## Keep Learning

Credit: Ryan McVay Photodisc Getty Images

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.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• 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.

Filed Under:
• 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 "|||."

Filed Under:
• 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.