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Numbers The Number Zero

This learning concept is about the importance of the number zero in mathematics. The students will learn about the use of zero in mathematics and the history of zero.

In this learning concept, the student will learn about

  • Use of zero in mathematics
  • How does zero increase or decrease the value of a number
  • Who invented the number zero

Each concept is explained to class1 maths students using examples, and illustrations and a concept map are given at the end to summarize the idea. At the end of the page there, two printable worksheets with their solutions are attached related to this concept.

There are endless numbers. The number zero is one of the important numbers among these numbers. It has its value and importance.

Do you know why the number zero was invented?

Let’s see.

Rohit counted the objects drawn on the board but he did not know which number to write on the blank board.

There is nothing on the blank board. What number do you think he should write on the blank board?

He should write the number ZERO on the blank board. Zero is represented by the symbol ‘0’.

  • If a number is subtracted from itself, the resultant number will be zero.

3 - 3 = 0

In mathematics, the number zero was invented to indicate the term 'nothing'.

Zero is extraordinary in the world of mathematics, but did you know this extraordinary number doesn't have any numerical value, and this is the great feature of the number Zero. But if we put a zero after any number, then the value of that number becomes ten times greater than its original value.


Putting zero after the number 1 makes its value 10. Is it not interesting!!!

In mathematics, zero has a very important role in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and many more operations.


History of Zero

Who invented zero?

  • In about 300 BC, ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics to write numbers. There are different symbols for the numbers 1, 10, 100, 1000, and so on.
  • After this, Babylonians used the sexagesimal system. It is believed that this system was developed from the Sumerians system. Greek numerals system was also developed from Babylonian’s system.

Maya civilization used the Vigesimal system for their calculations.

  • It is believed that the first use of zero as a number was started in India, which was used by Aryabhata in the 5th century.

After Aryabhata, in the 7th century, Brahmagupta described the rules of zero. In ancient India, the number zero was represented as ‘Shunya’. Later in English, it is denoted as the number ‘Zero’.


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