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Publisher's Summary

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 Kabbalists 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.

©2000 Charles Seife (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Zero

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A book of two parts

Very interesting book, but found the second half a little difficult to get through. First half was the story of zero and how it was accepted/shunned (largely due to religious reasons). This was super interesting. The second half gets into the nitty gritty of how zero can be used. It’s mathematics more than story and not something that translates well in audio book.
Worth the purchase, but will need the PDF / visuals for most of the second half of the book to appreciate it to its fullest.

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  • uljan
  • 12-06-2021

Enjoyed the interlinked stories of zero '0'

Enjoyed the interlinked stories stemming from the introduction of zero '0'. Specifically those from ancient societies, and their quests towards a paradigm shift of brought by a 'zero' revolution that re-writes the history.

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