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Finding zero: a mathematician's odyssey to uncover the origins of numbers

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Publication Date:
2015
Language:
English

Description

"The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got these numerals, which we so depend on, has for thousands of years been shrouded in mystery. Finding Zero is an adventure filled saga of Amir Aczel's lifelong obsession: to find the original sources of our numerals. Aczel has doggedly crisscrossed the ancient world, scouring dusty, moldy texts, cross examining so-called scholars who offered wildly differing sets of facts, and ultimately penetrating deep into a Cambodian jungle to find a definitive proof. Here, he takes the reader along for the ride. The history begins with the early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest zero--the keystone of our entire system of numbers--on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. While on this odyssey, Aczel meets a host of fascinating characters: academics in search of truth, jungle trekkers looking for adventure, surprisingly honest politicians, shameless smugglers, and treacherous archaeological thieves--who finally reveal where our numbers come from. "--

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ISBN:
9781137279842
9781466879102

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDbb4a2f7a-c523-be97-bfba-8f1f5038d50a
Grouping Titlefinding zero a mathematicians odyssey to uncover the origins of numbers
Grouping Authoramir d aczel
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2024-06-23 04:31:58AM
Last Indexed2024-06-23 04:49:15AM

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display_description
"The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got these numerals, which we so depend on, has for thousands of years been shrouded in mystery. Finding Zero is an adventure filled saga of Amir Aczel's lifelong obsession: to find the original sources of our numerals. Aczel has doggedly crisscrossed the ancient world, scouring dusty, moldy texts, cross examining so-called scholars who offered wildly differing sets of facts, and ultimately penetrating deep into a Cambodian jungle to find a definitive proof. Here, he takes the reader along for the ride. The history begins with the early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest zero--the keystone of our entire system of numbers--on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. While on this odyssey, Aczel meets a host of fascinating characters: academics in search of truth, jungle trekkers looking for adventure, surprisingly honest politicians, shameless smugglers, and treacherous archaeological thieves--who finally reveal where our numbers come from. "--
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bb4a2f7a-c523-be97-bfba-8f1f5038d50a
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9781137279842
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Sacramento Public Library
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9781137279842
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2015
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Palgrave Macmillan
St. Martin's Publishing Group
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grouped_work
subject_facet
Electronic books
History
History -- Philosophy
Mathematics
Numerals -- History
Science
Zero (The number) -- History
title_display
Finding zero : a mathematician's odyssey to uncover the origins of numbers
title_full
Finding Zero : A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers [electronic resource] / Amir D. Aczel
Finding Zero A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers
Finding zero : a mathematician's odyssey to uncover the origins of numbers / Amir D. Aczel
title_short
Finding zero
title_sub
a mathematician's odyssey to uncover the origins of numbers
topic_facet
Electronic books
History
Mathematics
Nonfiction
Numerals
Philosophy
Science
Zero (The number)

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