The discovery of Zero was a quantum leap in human advancement in mathematics and science.
Prior to this discovery, the development of mathematics had happened in many stages and in many places across the world. The basic rules of mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) had already been discovered, going by archaeological discoveries of stones, bones and sticks with tally marks on them all over the world.
But the key to mathematics was elusive and this key was the concept of Zero.
The Babylonians had a place-value notation (note the 0 in 2019) and had a marker for “nothing here” but they did not have a true Zero.
The Mayans were more advanced than the Babylonians in this but they even did not have a true Zero.
The concept of Zero as both a place-holder and a number is uniquely Indian. That is the most important contribution to mathematics (and science) in the history of mankind.
Understanding and working with Zero is the basis of the world we live in today. Without it, we would not have calculus, financial accounting, the ability to make arithmetic computations quickly, to write the code that drives computers, that drives our daily lives in countless ways.’
The discovery of Zero is the story of an idea that has its genesis in a philosophy that has aroused the imagination of great minds across the world.