Mathedu - Reengineering Mathematics

Mathedu Reengineering Mathematics

The Blog of Mathedu Academy

A content for the curious of the mathematics in the real world… and beyond

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Why is zero such a big discovery?

When children learn how to count, they begin with 1, as when mathematicians construct the "natural" integers set, they begin with 0.
It seems to be a small difference, but it changes many things, even from a practical point of view.
Indeed, the digit 0 is fundamental for the decimal numeration system. And the decimal numeration system is very useful to make additions, subtractions and multiplications.
As a matter of fact, any basis may be used instead of the 10 basis. But all use the 0 digit as a fundamental fact.
For instance, the Romans, who did not how the 0 number, found it very complicated to make an addition, and quite unfeasible to make a multiplication!
So, long life to the 0 number!