Symbol for Zero in Mathematical notation in India

Bag, A. K. (1970) Symbol for Zero in Mathematical notation in India Boletiín de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias, 48 . pp. 247-254. ISSN 0325-2051

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The necessity of expressing any number in mathematical calculation by means of word-numerals led to the introduction of a word implying "nothigness" or "void". At a later date when the word-numerals are substituted by symbol, the latter was represented by a dot or circular symbol. This gave rise to the symbol for zero. The Babylonians (14th Century B.C.) and the Chinese (8th Century A.D. left a blank space or gap between the two numeral figures to represent what we understand by zero. The Greeks (100 B.C. to 150 A.D.) used the circular symbol to serve as a separation mark or empty space for purposes other than mathematical calculation and not as a notation of symbol for zero. The Indians for the first time used the word sunya and its various synonyms (200 A.D. as well as circular dot (400 A.D.) on decimal place-value scale. The nine numerals along with zero-symbol began to be used among the Arabian and European scholars from the 10th Century A.D. onwards.

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