India’s contribution to the world is ……………………..

**BIG FAT ZERO!**

Haha (wink wink)

Yes, I am talking about the digit 0. Zero or *shunya* is a contribution of India to the world of Mathematics.

You are welcome, world!

Don’t underestimate the “nothing” 😀

So, coming to the question…… **Why is zero so important to Mathematics?** After all it is “nothing!”

I will try and explain in a simple way.

We have 10 fingers. So counting starts with 1 and goes up to 10. Then after that we go into multiples of 10. That is called base of 10. We understand this better than other bases.

In mathematics, there are base of 2, 8 and 16 too, but the base 10 is the easiest to understand and most prevalent. The other bases are used for highly scientific purposes only.

The concept of numbers went from India to the Arabic nations from there it spread all across Europe. Since the numerals came to the western world from Arabia, the westerners called them Hindu-Arabic numerals.

The Roman counting system start with 1. As you are all so familiar with it, I am not delving deep into it. As a recap, I is 1, V is 5, X is ten, L is 50, C is 100, M is 1000. But I want to emphasize the absence of a representation of zero in the Roman numerals. This created many problems while representing very large numbers. Even representing small numbers is a bit confusing. For example, IV is 4, meaning remove 1 from 5, VI is 6, that is add 1 to 5. That means, writing a number to the left of a main number means subtracting from the main one and writing to the right of it, signifies addition. So far so good? Now see, 49 is XLIX. 50-10 tens and a 10-1. Got it? In my childhood, I used to wonder why I could not write simply IL, that is 50-1. My teacher never explained! Later I understood that each digit in the given number must be represented individually. Imagine if you have to write a 9-10 digit number in roman numerals! You would be writing a sentence! LOL

That is why the European mathematicians heaved a sigh of relief with the Hindu-Arabic numerals.

Zero gives any number its place value. Think of a number.

For example, 4509.3

Now, here, the digit 0 in the given number is in the 10th place value. The digit 5 is in the 100th place value and so on. Adding more zeros after 4 to the left of it or adding more zeroes to the right of 3, does not change the value of the number.

**000004509.300000**

But adding even one zero to the left of the decimal and even one zero to the right of the decimal point will alter the given number completely.

**45090.03**

That is one of the contributions of zero.

Zero is the reason why human mind expanded.

Confused?

Let me explain.

Zero allowed us to think of numbers that went on the other side of the number line.

…………….-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3 …………………….

Zero was like the pivot that held the negative numbers and positive numbers on a balance. The set of both negative and positive numbers makes up the set of Integers.

The study of Integers led us to study irrational numbers thus our world expanded. From there Mathematics grew wings and Calculus also developed.

The exponential representation of any integer owes its existence to zero. The astrophysics field of study with all the distances measured between galaxies and what not are expressed in exponents.

The concept of NULL set also arises from understanding of zero. This leads to the entire study of algebra and eventually the entire computer software industry.

Zero may seem insignificant in terms of its value, but its contribution to humanity is immeasurable.

I wish you were my maths teacher. You explained it so easily and beautifully. I am bookmarking this page for my son.

You made all Indians proud with this amazing series on India. Keep writing.

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Thank you! I hope your son likes it too. Chalo, my M.Sc Maths kaam aaya! 😁

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Very well explained by you the importance of zero . Mind blowing . When ever we talk of zero , I remember Sri Vivekanada’s speech on zero in Chiago. Well done Meena . We are very happy to read your all series n looking forward to hear from you very soon . Keep it up .

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Thank you so much!

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Meena this one I stopped reading mid way – Math gives me a head fog. Went back to my nightmarish school tutorials for maths.

Congratulations on completing this challenge. Will you be publishing an eBook for Blogchatter writing festival?

https://lonelycanopyblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/zoned-out-at-pepper-house/

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Lol! Maths is not so difficult. It is just a mindset. Teachers make a difference. My teacher made me love maths!

https://balconysunrise.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/helen-miss/

Thank you, seema!

E-book? Not thought of it at all! Will you!

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Yes, just started compiling it 🙂 Hmmm …. yah. I’m also a bit numerically challenged 😦

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Great! All the best

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Not a mth person so I had to give this a skip midway, hope you appreciate my honesty. It was lovely connecting with you through this challenge hope we stay in touch https://akswrites.com/2018/04/30/zest-for-life-atozchallenge-blogchattera2z/

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Hey no problem! Thanks anyway, for giving it a go! I would like to be in touch too. So lets. Cheers!

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I was very small when I learnt that India has given the world zero. At that time, I was so disappointed and embarrassed too. Of all the numbers, India came up with 0 – zilch, nothing. I would make lame jokes about it. But as I grew up, I understood the importance of 0 and was proud of the fact that India made such a huge contribution to mathematics. Thanks for bringing it up, Meena! What a series, with each post, you have made us feel proud of being an Indian.

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Many thanks for your compliment! I am touched.

Yes, indeed zero is nothing but also everything!

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Congratulations Meena for completing the challenge successfully!

I am Maths lover too! Had a great time reading and revisiting the power of 0.

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Thanks anagha. Congrats to you too. I hope to meet mrs. Chitterchatter soon again

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You explained it so simply and beautifully Meena! Loved the post!! Congratulations on completing the challenge 🙂

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Glad you liked it neha. Thank you so much! 🙏

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Excellent, lucidly explained trivia to end the challenge Meena. Great work throughout. Congrats.

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Thank you anurag!

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Excellent post with superb & simple explanation!

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Glad you could relate to it🙏

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