Indispensable for writing numbers but also for counting, zero has a date and a place of birth. Which ? And what does it matter?

Zero: the origins
Zero has been invented many times. First of all by the Babylonians to show an absence in the writing of a number as in 102 where the zero signifies the absence of tens. We call this zero, the position zero. Independently, it was reinvented by the Maya, a people from Central America.

The Indians have reinvented the position of zero to V th century before making a real number that can add and multiply, like the others, in the VII th century. This Indian invention was then widely disseminated by the Arabs.Zero: a number like the others
We owe the appearance of zero as a number to the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta (598-668). In Brahmasphutasiddhanta , which means "the opening of the Universe  " , written entirely in verse, it gives the rules governing zero, as well as the positive or negative numbers, in terms of debts and fortunes:Minus zero debt is debt.
A fortune minus zero is a fortune.
Zero minus zero is zero.
Debt subtracted from zero is a fortune ...
He continues thus and everyone will recognize in these lines an old version of the rule of signs, of which an extract from La vie de Henry Brulard , the autobiographical novel by Stendhal (1783-1842) seems a humorous echo: "Suppose that the negative quantities are of a man's debts, how by multiplying 10,000 francs of debt by 500 francs, would this man have or will he manage to have a fortune of 5,000,000, five million? "

Using mathematical terms out of context can yield fun results.A normalien and an aggregator of mathematics, Hervé Lehning has taught his discipline for some forty years. Crazy about cryptography, a member of the Association of Reservists of the cipher and information security, he in particular broke the secrets of the encryption box of Henri II.

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