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If you are looking for the famous WWII-vintage Japanese fighter plane,Wikipedia you've come to the wrong wiki.

This article/section deals with mathematical concepts appropriate for notedscholar.

End Zero Hours (26642281904) (cropped).jpg

Zero is an incredibly useful mathematical concept — particularly for place-value numbering systems — obtained by the West from the heathens of the East in the closing stages of the 1st millennium CE, which raises the question of why a benevolent god would leave his followers in the dark on such an important matter for so long.

Surprisingly, for all its usefulness, it has no actual value, that's right, zero, nought, none, nil, nada, zip, bupkis, zilch, a goose egg, nought, nix, diddly squat.

Zero conflicted with the fundamental philosophical beliefs of the west, for contained within zero are two ideas that were poisonous to western doctrine. Indeed, these concepts would eventually destroy Aristotelian philosophy after its long reign. These dangerous ideas were the void and the infinite.
—Charles Seife
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Now it threatens the foundations of modern physics. For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. For zero, infinity's twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything.
—Charles Seife
Nul points!
Eurovision Song Contest

Finding zero[edit]

If you are having trouble locating zero, try this. Pick a number, any number. No, don't tell me what it is! Now, take your number, and subtract it from itself. This is your new number. No, I said, don't tell me what it is! Let me allow the aether to flow between our minds… your new number is zero!

Alternatively, zero is the count of objects in the empty set (∅).[note 1] Too dry and mathematical for you? Zero is the number of chocolates in an empty box. (Sadly.)

Dividing by zero[edit]

Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends.
—Siri, when asked for zero divided by zero[1]

However, you can actually divide by zero in wheel theory,Wikipedia so there's that.

Further reading[edit]


See also[edit]



  1. And in the standard construction of natural numbers,Wikipedia zero is the empty set!