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Why Zero Is So Important


Image credit: The Royal Institution/YouTube

Zero is kind of weird beast. Only after the 7th century was it for openly accepted as a number in its own right, at that time the ancient Indians created a numerical system expressing zero with its own symbol. Since then, with such number system still being used now, zero has been very helpful for mankind to r explore mathematics.

The way we use numbers originated from the actual requirement to count things. However, at that time people just used zero to illustrate an absence of value. In this sense, it could only be considered as a number. But with development of human thought, mathematics had turned to be sort of an abstract process to reveal reality; zero began to become a quite instrumental tool.

From the following animated video from The Royal Institution, narrated by mathematician Hannah Fry, you could learn something about story of this winding history, from the role that zero had played in ancient civilizations to the present times of computer technology. This video is aimed at demonstrating the process in which zero proved itself as a mathematical hero.

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