Zilch. Nada. Bupkis. Yes, I’m taking about Zero (0), a number that seems so essential to our system of numbers, and yet it hasn’t always enjoyed such a privileged place. Far from it.
In this short animation, Britain’s venerable Royal Institution traces the history of zero, a number that emerged in seventh century India, before making its way to China and Islamic countries, and finally penetrating Western cultures in the 13th century. Only later did it become the cornerstone of calculus and the language of computing.
India, we owe you thanks.
Follow Open Culture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and Flipboard and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. To make sure that our posts definitely appear in your Facebook newsfeed, just follow these simple steps.
If you’d like to help support Open Culture, please sign up for a 30-day free trial from Audible.com or The Great Courses Plus. You will get free audio books and free courses in return. No strings attached.