How old are zero?

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The concept of zero is one of the most fundamental of our numerical system. It is used in everyday life for counting, measurements, calculations, and a whole host of other activities. It is also used in science and other disciplines. But how old is zero? How long has it been around in our history? There is no single answer to this question, as zero has been around for a very long time in various forms. In this blog post, we will explore the various origins of zero, from its ancient roots to its contemporary usage.

How old are zero?

The Ancient Roots of Zero

Zero is an ancient concept, with its roots stretching back thousands of years. It was first used in Babylonian and Egyptian mathematics as a placeholder for empty places in numbers and was represented by two slanting wedges. This concept was later adopted by the Greeks, who used it to represent the absence of a number. The Indian mathematician Pingala is credited with introducing the concept of zero as a number in its own right in the 5th century BC. This version of zero was represented by a dot and was used in calculations and equations.

The Early Use of Zero

The concept of zero as a number spread throughout the ancient world and was adopted by the Romans, Chinese, and Arabs. In the 13th century, the mathematician Fibonacci developed a version of zero that was represented by a circle. This version of zero was used extensively in Europe and the Arab world and is still used in some parts of the world today.

Zero in the Modern Age

In the modern age, zero has been used for a variety of purposes. It is used in mathematics, science, engineering, and computing, as well as in everyday life for counting, measurements, and calculations. Zero is also used to denote the absence of a number or quantity, or as a placeholder for an unspecified value. Zero is an essential part of the modern numerical system, and its presence can be seen in many different areas.

Zero and Infinity

Zero is closely linked to the concept of infinity, which is the concept of something without end or limit. This concept has been around since ancient times, and zero is often used to represent it. Infinity is used in many branches of mathematics, such as calculus and topology, as well as in philosophy, physics, and theology.

Zero and the Digital Age

Zero is also closely linked to the digital age, which has been defined as the period of human history starting from the mid-20th century. During this time, digital technologies such as computers and the internet have become an essential part of everyday life. Zero is used extensively in digital technologies, as it is the basis of many of the calculations and operations that are performed.


In conclusion, zero is an ancient and ubiquitous concept that has been around for thousands of years. It has been used in numerous different contexts and has been adapted to suit the needs of the time. Today, zero is an essential part of the modern numerical system, and its presence can be seen in many different areas. From its ancient roots to its contemporary usage, zero is a fundamental part of our numerical system and will continue to be so for many years to come.

How old are zero?
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