Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles SeifeThe Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. For centuries, the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. Zero follows this number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of the black hole. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for the theory of everything. Elegant, witty, and enlightening, Zero is a compelling look at the strangest number in the universeૼand one of the greatest paradoxes of human thought.
The Language of Mathematics (5): Zero and Infinity, Introduction to Limits
UNDERSTANDING ZERO AND INFINITY IN THE EARLY SCHOOL YEARS
AK Peters, Ltd. From Zero to Infinity is a highly-readable history of numbers. The chapters are of manageable lengths, and they can be read independently of each other. The story begins with the concept of and symbol for zero. Its place in history is indeed a fascinating account. The other chapters introduce the reader to the integers, primes and composites, rational numbers, and the concept of infinity.
Philosophers have speculated about the nature of the infinite, for example Zeno of Elea , who proposed many paradoxes involving infinity, and Eudoxus of Cnidus , who used the idea of infinitely small quantities in his method of exhaustion. This idea is also at the basis of infinitesimal calculus. At the end of 19th century, Georg Cantor introduced and studied infinite sets and infinite numbers , which are now an essential part of the foundation of mathematics. It is used everywhere in mathematics, even in areas such as combinatorics and number theory that may seem to have nothing to do with it. For example, Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem uses the existence of very large infinite sets.
What makes numbers interesting? The subtitle of this beautiful book is the motivation, map, and message of its page journey from zero to infinity. With concise insight, Reid takes the digits from 0 to 9 as chapter titles and starting points of voyages into the history and deep concepts of modern mathematics. You may be disappointed if you only want a book telling you interesting things about the numbers themselves. The number lore, for example "The Romans attributed the number six to the goddess of love," is incidental to the main themes: patterns, problems, and propositions associated with numbers, and the passion with which we have been attracted to them for thousands of years. Reid stresses the antiquity of mathematical thought with frequent praise for the ancient Greeks.
First talking about zero, When you have some stuff, and then you give it all away, it means you have nothing. This is acceptable when you do it.
you had me at meow book