Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Big Fat Zero!

Did you know the number zero was invented independently in India and by the Maya?



In India a decimal system was used, like ours, but they used an empty space for zero up to 3rd Century BC. This was confusing for an empty space was also used to separate numbers, and so they invented the dot for a zero. The first evidence for the use of the symbol that we now know as zero stems from the 7th century AD. The Maya invented the number zero for their calendars in the 3rd century AD. The number zero reached European civilisation through the Arabs after 800 AD. The Greek and Roman did not need the number zero for they did their calculations on an abacus.

Thanks to the folks at whenwilliusemath.com for posting this fact on their site!

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