Fellow numbers nerds: A great little video about zero! It also fits in quite nicely with my poem “With These Nine Figures,” which I posted last week.
This short animated video produced by the Royal Institution of Great Britain illustrates the history of the mathematical concept of zero.
Today, zero signifies an absence of value as well as being a number in its own right. But this dual role evolved gradually, and zero still doesn’t act like other numbers. Can you divide by zero, for example? With animation by Andrew Khosravani, Dr. Hannah Fry explains how zero came about, from its origins in ancient civilizations, through the resistance it faced from the Roman numeral system, to being the cornerstone of calculus.
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