The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for the theory of everything. Line illustrations. Zero follows the number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of the black hole. Elegant, witty, and utterly fascinating, Zero takes us from Aristotle to superstring theory by way of Pythagoras, Descartes, the Kabbalists, and Einstein. It is a compelling look at the strangest number in the universe, and one of the greatest paradoxes of human thought. “A stunning chronicle.”-U.S. News & World Report. “Entertainingly traces the history of numbers from 30,000 years ago, down to the role that zero plays in contemporary cosmological theory. After finishing, his readers will feel they’ve accomplished a considerable something.”-the New York Times. “Charles Seife has made a marvelously entertaining something out of nothing. By simply telling the tale of zero, Seife provides a fresh and fascinating history not only of mathematics but also of science, philosophy, theology, and even art. An impressive debut for a promising young science writer.”-John Horgan.
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