Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

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Viking, 2000 - Mathematics - 248 pages
21 Reviews
"Zero follows the number zero from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of a black hole. Here are the legendary thinkers who battled over the meaning of this mysterious number - scholars and mystics, cosmologists and clergymen whose clashes over zero shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion." "Charles Seife's account takes us from Aristotle to superstring theory by way of Pythagoras, Descartes, the Kabbalists, and Einstein. It is a concise tour of a universe of ideas bound up in the simple notion of nothing."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - danhammang - LibraryThing

Great read, mathematics, history, humor. Just fine for the non-mathematician. It is a history of the number zero and the ideas behind it. They are large ideas that have had a big impact on culture ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stef7sa - LibraryThing

Interesting 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

Contents

Null and Void
1
Nothing Comes of Nothing
25
Nothing Ventured
63
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Charles Seife is the author of five previous books, including Proofiness and Zero, which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction and was a New York Times notable book. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Wired, New Scientist, Science, Scientific American, and The Economist. He is a professor of journalism at New York University and lives in New York City.

 

 

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