The origin of zero
Name: anne b huffer
Date: Around 1995
Can you tell me anything about the origin of the use of zero as a place
holder and indicator of a null quantity? I know about the Hindu use of 9
symbols and the Indian use of ' as a place holder. My primary source has
been Boyer. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Bell, The Development of Mathematics, suggests that zero was independently
developed by the Hindus, Babylonians and Maya.
The best source I know of is Morris Kline, Mathematical Thought from
Ancient to Modern Times (Oxford, 1972; paperback). He reports that zero
symbols are found in Alexandrian Greek documents.
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