100 Events That Changed The World "Mathematicians THINK UP ZERO" NG .

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100 Events That Changed The World "Mathematicians THINK UP ZERO" NG


For millennia, numerical systems started the number one. Although Babylonians and Greeks used a symbol to indicate an empty spot in a number, such as 907, the concept of nothingness reesained just that—nothing. It was circa A.D. 500, when India's great mathematician-astronomers Aryabhata (A.D. 475-550) and Varahamihira (A.D. 505- Mg) described "zero" as a quantity, which led to the transformation of mathematics from being not just a counting system but also a conceptual framework. During the next few centuries, Indian mathemati­cians worked out the laws for adding, subtracting, and multiplying by nothing. But it wasn't until the ninth century that the concept of zero finally came to the West through the written works of Per­sian mathematician al-Khwarizmi (A.D. 780-850). He brought the Indian numeral system to Bagh­dad, where he worked at the House of Wisdom, a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age (A.D. 786-1258). AI-Khwarizmi is also known for developing algebra.