When you were a little kid, even before you ever dealt with your first word problem in math class, you probably had to solve a problem something like this. You have four Starbursts, and you eat four Starbursts. What are you left with? That's right: sadness. And also no candy. But though even small kids can understand "nothing," the concept of "zero" is actually a bit more advanced; so advanced, in fact, that by the year 1200 C.E., it had only just barely reached the brightest mathematicians in Europe. This is the story of the invention of zero, and how a whole lot of nothing ended up changing the world.
Making Something Out of Nothing
Zero Goes Abroad
Math Whizzes of Ancient Babylon Figured out the Forerunner of Calculus
Written by Reuben Westmaas September 7, 2017
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