The Role of Zero: The Role of Zero By Yashwant Sai
The Role of Zero: The Role of Zero Zero, zip, zilch - how often has a question been answered by one of these words? Countless, no doubt. Yet behind this seemingly simple answer conveying nothing lays the story of an idea that took many centuries to develop, many countries to cross, and many minds to comprehend. Understanding and working with zero is the basis of our world today; without zero we would lack calculus, financial accounting, the ability to make arithmetic computations quickly, and, especially in today's connected world, computers. The story of zero is the story of an idea that has aroused the imagination of great minds across the globe.
The Role of Zero: The zero functions as a placeholder; that is, three zeroes denotes that there are seven thousands, rather than only seven hundreds. If we were missing one zero, that would drastically change the amount.For centuries people marked quantities with a variety of symbols and figures, although it was awkward to perform the simplest arithmetic calculations with these number systems. The Sumerians were the first to develop a counting system to keep an account of their stock of goods - cattle, horses, and donkeys Sumerian system was handed down to the Akkadians around 2500 BC and then to the Babylonians in 2000 BC. The Role of Zero
The role of zero: The role of zero The renowned mathematicians among the Ancient Greeks, who learned the fundamentals of their math from the Egyptians,did not have a name for zero, nor did their system feature a placeholder as did theIt was the Indians who began to understand zero both as a symbol and as an idea.
The Role Of Zero: The Role Of Zero Brahmagupta , around 650 AD, was the first to formalize arithmetic operations using zero. He used dots underneath numbers to indicate a zero. These dots were alternately referred to as ' sunya ', which means empty, or ' kha ', which means place. The great Arabian voyagers would bring the texts of Brahmagupta and his colleagues back from India along with spices and other exotic items. Zero reached Baghdad by 773 ADIn the ninth century, Mohammed ibn -Musa al- Khowarizmi was the first to work on equations that equaled zero, or algebra as it has come to be known. ). Al- Khowarizmi called zero ' sifr ', from which our cipher is derived. By 879 AD, zero was written almost as we now know it, an oval - but in this case smaller than the other numbers. And thanks to the conquest of Spain by the Moors, zero finally reached Europe; by the middle of the twelfth century, translations of Al- Khowarizmi's work had weaved their way to England.
The role Of Zero: The role Of Zero The next great mathematician to use zero was Rene Descartes, the founder of the Cartesian coordinate system. As anyone who has had to graph a triangle or a parabola knows, Descartes' origin is (0,0). Although zero was now becoming more common, the developers of calculus, Newton and Lebiniz , would make the final step in understanding zero.
The Role Of Zero - Physics: By working with numbers as they approach zero, calculus was born without which we wouldn't have physics, engineering, and many aspects of economics and finance.The development of zero across continents, centuries, and minds has made it one of the greatest accomplishments of human society. Because math is a global language, and calculus its crowning achievement, zero exists and is used everywhere. The Role Of Zero - Physics
Slide 8: Zero mode is a topological concept which plays a very fundamental role in high energy physics: Some operators can and must have zero(- eigenvalue ) modes which can be used to model all observed elementary particles, the non-vanishing masses of which are all much smaller than the Planck mass, and have been viewed as zero masses acquiring small masses due to spontaneous breaking of some gauge symmetries. In condensed matter physics zero modes can also play important roles: In the theory of soliton excitations in polyacetylene , it is the zero modes which cause a soliton to have a reversed charge-spin relation.
Slide 9: "Fermi level" is the term used to describe the top of the collection of electron energy levels at absolute zero temperature. This concept comes from Fermi-Dirac statistics . Electrons are fermions and by the Pauli exclusion principle cannot exist in identical energy states. So at absolute zero they pack into the lowest available energy states and build up a "Fermi sea" of electron energy states. The Fermi level is the surface of that sea at absolute zero where no electrons will have enough energy to rise above the surface. The concept of the Fermi energy is a crucially important concept for the understanding of the electrical and thermal properties of solids.
Slide 10: In 1916 Nernst published an article [6] in which he proposed that the Universe might actually contain enormous amounts of such zero-point radiation. In fact, the existence of such a zero-point ¯ eld (ZPF) had been ¯ rst envisaged by Planck around 1910 when he formulated his so-called second theory: namely an attempt to derive the blackbody spectral formula with a weaker quantization assumption. It was Nernst who captured the paramount thermodynamic implications and relevance of such a sea of background radiation and became the main proponent of this concept.
Slide 11: The value zero plays a special role for many physical quantities. For some quantities, the zero level is naturally distinguished from all other levels, whereas for others it is more or less arbitrarily chosen. For example, on the Kelvin temperature scale, zero is the coldest possible temperature ( negative temperatures exist but are not actually colder), whereas on the Celsius scale, zero is arbitrarily defined to be at the freezing point of water. Measuring sound intensity in decibels or phons , the zero level is arbitrarily set at a reference value—for example, at a value for the threshold of hearing. In physics , the zero-point energy is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may possess and is the energy of the ground state of the system.
Slide 12: Chemistry Zero has been proposed as the atomic number of the theoretical element tetraneutron . It has been shown that a cluster of four neutrons may be stable enough to be considered an atom in its own right. This would create an element with no protons and no charge on its nucleus . As early as 1926, Professor Andreas von Antropoff coined the term neutronium for a conjectured form of matter made up of neutrons with no protons, which he placed as the chemical element of atomic number zero at the head of his new version of the periodic table . It was subsequently placed as a noble gas in the middle of several spiral representations of the periodic system for classifying the chemical elements