Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea

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9780140296471: Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Within the concept of zero lies a philosophical and scientific history of Mankind. The Babylonians invented zero, it was banned by the Greeks while on the eve of the Millennium zero was feared to be a timebomb within the world s computer systems. There was a time when zero did not exist, the concept of zero is a relatively recent Eastern concept and for centuries there was a struggle over its very existence. For many cultures zero represented the void and it could prove to undo the framework of logic. It was seen as an alien concept that could shatter the framework of Christianity and science yet European acceptance of zero as a philosophical concept was at the centre of the RenaissanceOver three thousand years the concept of zero has been at the heart of the intellectual debates that have created our culture. In the first millennium zero lay at the heart of the debate between Eastern and Western religion, while after the Renaissance zero was at the centre of the struggle between religion and science. Zero s power comes from its ability to disrupt the laws of physics and it may hold the secret of the cosmos. From the nothingness of a vacuum came our universe, if our universe was born in zero so zero could hold the existence of an infinite number of other universes. .

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Review:

This is one of the best-written popular science books to have come this way for quite a while... Seife has a neat turn of phrase, an easy yet respectful familiarity with his subject that helps the maths slip down easily. --Nicholas Lezard, 'The Guardian'

A witty but lucid account... A must for armchair logicians. --'BBC Focus'

A breathless tour of the dangerous idea of zero. --'New Scientist'

About the Author:

Charles Seife has worked with such mathematicians as Andrew Wiles, the solver of Fermat s Last Theorem, and John Conway, inventor of the game of life . He is the American correspondent for New Scientist.

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Matt Zimet (illustrator). 201 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Popular math at its most entertaining and enlightening. Zero is really something -Washington Post A New York Times Notable Book. 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. In Zero, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Here are the legendary thinkers from Pythagoras to Newton to Heisenberg, from the Kabalists to today s astrophysicists who have tried to understand it and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion. Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780140296471

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for the theory of everything. Line illustrations. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140296476

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Matt Zimet (illustrator). 201 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Popular math at its most entertaining and enlightening. Zero is really something -Washington Post A New York Times Notable Book. 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. In Zero, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Here are the legendary thinkers from Pythagoras to Newton to Heisenberg, from the Kabalists to today s astrophysicists who have tried to understand it and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion. Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780140296471

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