Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous IdeaPopular 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 innocentlooking 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 everpresent 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. 
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LibraryThing Review
User Review  stef7sa  LibraryThingInteresting read. Most surprising the representation of complex numbers as points on a globe. The physics part at the end seemed a bit far fetched. Read full review
LibraryThing Review
User Review  themulhern  LibraryThingGenerally lively and fun book w/ a few flaws. The somewhat inaccurate historical asides as footnotes are a bit troubling, but sometimes they end up in parentheses instead, which is more annoying. The ... Read full review
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