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Name: anne b huffer
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995


Question:
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.


Replies:
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.

jlu



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