Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea
by Charles Seife
Editor: Penguin Books Australia
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Popular mathematics at its most entertaining and instructive”The Zero Is Really Something”-The Washington Post, New York Times Notables BookThe Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Church used it to repel heretics.Now he threatens the foundations of modern physicsFor centuries, the power of zero savored from the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematicsFor zero, the infinity of twins, it’s not like other numbersIt is both nothing and everythingIn Zero, Scientific Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent number from his birth as an Oriental philosophical concept to his struggle for acceptance of Europe, his place and transcendence in the West, and his ever-present threat of modern physicsHere is the legendary thinkers-from Pythagoras to Heisenberg’s Newton, from the few Kabbalists today to the astrophysicists, who tried to understand and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics and religionThe zero pitted East against the West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark heart of a black hole and the brilliance of the Big BangToday, zero is at the heart of one of the greatest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of the whole.
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