Inventor of the number zero – Nowadays, many people must have known that there is a zero in a sequence of numbers. This zero is usually counted before the number one (1), so that it can be said that the zero is an even number. In addition, the number zero in mathematics also has an important role because it can act as an integer, a *real* number , and an algebraic structure. Therefore, without zeros, the number system would be difficult to interpret and use.

Not only does it have an important role in the number system and mathematics, but the number zero also provides convenience in the multiplication system. This convenience will be seen when calculating the multiplication of zeros where every number multiplied by zero will add up to zero. Because in a multiplication, every number multiplied by zero then results in zero, then a division divided by zero becomes undefined.

If a number is divided or multiplied by zero, the result will be undefined and zero, then it is different from a number that is added or subtracted by zero. A number that is added or subtracted by zero, the result will be the same or does not change. The number zero which has many roles in mathematics, it can be said that this number is a special number in mathematics.

In fact, the number zero does not only play an important role in mathematics, but also plays a role in the life we live, like the number zero as a place marker. For example, as a sign that the place is 0 kilometers from an area or you could say it is the zero point of an area. In general, the 0 kilometer point in an area is marked with “Indonesian Post Office”.

The zero in the mathematical number system doesn’t just appear right away, but someone has found it. So, to find out who is the inventor of the number zero, you can read this article to the end, happy reading.

**A Brief History of Zero**

According to some historical records, the number zero has basically existed since Babylonian times which have existed since hundreds of BC. At that time, the concept of zero was more often used by the Babylonians to calculate the upcoming season. The use of zero by scientists at that time was due to the absence of numbers like today. The number zero represents an absence that was actually realized by people in Babylonian times or even hundreds of years BC.

After hundreds of years, zero was used to calculate the seasons, then in the 7th century AD, zero became known as a number and was used in mathematics. The concept of zero first appeared in India. According to Indian culture, the zero represented by a circle signifies the circle of life. The mathematician who came from India is an astronaut and he is named Brahmagupta. He conducted various kinds of research on numbers and one of those numbers was zero.

In addition, Brahmagupta not only conducted research on numbers or numbers, but also gave symbols to numbers, one of the symbols was given to zero in the form of 0. Not only did research on zero, Brahmagupta also developed research in the form of operating rules on numbers with zeros. The zero that began to be developed by Brahmagupta can be used to perform calculations with other numbers. In other words, the number zero can be used in calculation operations, such as addition, subtraction to multiplication.

As time went on and the development of increasingly modern science made the concept of zero that had been developed by Brahmagupta become known to the people of the Middle East. At that time, the development of science in the Islamic world was at its peak. Until finally, there came an astronomer who came from India and he was named Kankah.

Caliph Al Mansur was the leader who was visited by Kankah with a book entitled *Shindind* . The book contains how to accurately calculate the movement of stars. Caliph Al Mansur who read the book began to experience interest, so he gave orders to scientists at Bayt al Hikmah (a place for Muslim scientists to deepen knowledge) to translate a book with the title *Shindid* into Arabic. Then, a scientist, Muhammad Al Fasari began to carry out orders from Caliph Al Mansur. After being translated into Arabic, a book was created with the title *Shind al Hindi Kabir* .

At a time when the zeros of Brahmagupta had begun to enter the Islamic world, there was a scientist as well as a mathematician who was interested in seeing and understanding a book entitled *Shind al Hindi Kabir* . Then, Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Kharizmi or better known as Al-Khwarizmi began to make improvements to the book he had read before. He perfected the book using the calculation method derived from the Brahmagupta zeros. The results of the improvements that have been made are recorded in a book entitled *Al-Jami wa Al-Tafriq bi Hisab Al-Hind* .

Until finally, the book written by Al-Khwarizmi began to be disseminated to mainland Europe, although it faced several obstacles. After the book was spread across Europe, it was translated into Latin and produced a book entitled *Algorithmi de Numero Indorum* . Our spread to mainland Europe marked the beginning of the science of algorithms from Al-Khwarizmi began to develop.

**Zero Number Inventor**

As explained from the brief history of the concept of zero, it can be said that there were two mathematicians who played a major role in discovering and developing the number zero, namely Brahmagupta and Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi.

**1. Brahmagupta**

Almost everyone knows the inventor of the number zero is Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi or better known as Al-Khwarizmi, but according to existing historical records that the inventor of the number zero for the first time came from a mathematician who came from India. The mathematician named Brahmagupta, he is thought to have been born in 598 AD. In fact, he not only had influence on the field of mathematics, but was believed to have played a role in the development of astronomy.

Brahmagupta’s name is increasingly famous since writing a book with the title *Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta* or if translated means “The Correctly Established Doctrine of Brahma”. The book contains about the world of astronomy, especially in calculating the movement of stars. It is most likely that the work was written by Brahmagupta in Bhillamala which was at that time the capital of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty.

The book he wrote made Brahmagupta’s name increasingly known to the Arabs because his book was translated (estimated around 771 AD) into Arabic, or more precisely translated in the Baghdad area. As it turned out, the translated book became one of the triggers for Arab scientists to develop Islamic mathematical and astronomical knowledge.

His love for science was not only about astronomy, but Brahmagupta was also very interested in the world of mathematics. In the book he has written ( *Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta* ), there are several chapters that discuss mathematics, such as chapters 12 and 18. In these two chapters in particular, Brahmagupta writes about the foundations of Indian mathematics, *pati ganita* (procedural mathematics or better known as algorithms) and *bija ganita* (mathematics of seeds or equations). He also discussed arithmetic. Therefore, chapter 12 is named “mathematics”.

Meanwhile, in chapter 18, Brahmagupta places more emphasis on qualifying to become someone skilled in mathematics or calculators ( *ganaka* ). Chapter 18 is named the “destroyer” chapter because it is in accordance with the discussion in chapter 18, namely “qualifications to become a mathematician”. However, some opinions say that it was named the “destroyer” chapter because at that time there was no specific name to discuss this field (algebra).

His interest in the world of mathematics did not stop there. Brahmagupta also discussed geometric theory, how to calculate the area of a triangle, and how to calculate the circumference of a circle. In fact, Brahmagupta also played a role in discovering and defining the number zero. Thanks to him, the number zero, which initially had no value, now has a significant value. Therefore, until now the number zero in mathematics has an important role, such as a *real* number , integer, and so on.

Not only that, Brahmagupta in his book entitled *Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta* explains numbers with positive values and numbers with negative values. Positive and negative numbers are the numbers we use until now, both in education and in our daily activities.

A positive number and a negative number are multiplied together, such as a positive number multiplied by a negative number produces a negative number, a negative number multiplied by a negative number results in a positive number, and a positive number multiplied by a positive number results in a positive number.

Brahmagupta is thought to have died around 665 AD. Besides writing the book *Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta* , Brahmagupta also wrote a book which talks a lot about astronomy using an Aryabhata system. This Aryabhata system starts every day and starts at midnight.

**2. Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi**

Based on historical records, Al-Khwarizmi is estimated to have lived during the reign of Caliph Al-Ma’mun. Caliph Al-Ma’mun led the Abbasid dynasty from 813 AD to 833 AD. During his leadership, Al-Ma’mun began to really like the development of science, so he opened a scientific research center in the city of Baghdad and the research area was named *Bayt Al-Hikmah* . It was at the research site that Al-Khwarizmi began to build his career as a scientist in the field of mathematics. Apart from that, Al-Khwarizmi also worked as a member of *Bayt Al-Hikmah* .

Before developing the concept of zero which can be used today, Al-Khwarizmi had already developed an algebraic theory. Thanks to the development of the algebraic theory, Al-Khwarizmi’s name is increasingly known by many people, so he is nicknamed the “Father of Algebra”. He recorded everything about algebra in his book entitled *Al-Kitab Al-Jabr Wa Al-Muqalaba* which, when translated into Latin, becomes *The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing.*

After creating and making a book on algebra, Al-Khwarizmi who was interested in the world of mathematics began to develop the use of every number that exists including zero. He wrote all of these things into a work of Arithmetic with a book entitled *Al-Jam’a wa Al-Tafriq bi Al-Hisab Al-Hindi. *In Latin, the book written by Al-Khwarizmi is entitled *The Book of Addition and Subtraction by the Method of Calculation of the Hindus* . In that book, Al-Khwarizmi explains the use of numbers starting from number 1 to number 9. In addition, Al-Khwarizmi also develops the use of the number zero.

In the book he wrote, Al-Khwarizmi not only discusses the uses of the numbers 1 to 9 and zero, but also discusses the origins of each number and the history of the numbers themselves. Thanks to the research conducted by Al-Khwarizmi, the Europeans began to study the use of the number zero. They learn how to use zero to make it easier to count tens, hundreds, thousands, and so on.

Therefore, the use of the number zero in Arabic, *Shifr* began to be absorbed into several European countries’ languages, such as France which changed the word *Shifr* to the word *Chiffre* . Then, in German, the word *Shifr* became the word *Ziffer* and in English it became the word *Cipher* .

Al-Khwarizmi developed not only the use of the numbers 1 to 9 and the number zero (0), but he also developed and introduced negative signs which were not widely used by Arab scientists at that time.

Al-Khwarizmi breathed his last around 850 AD in Baghdad. Even though Al-Khwarizmi has passed away, thanks to the concept of zero that he has developed, it makes it easier for us to learn and calculate things in our lives, especially those in mathematics. In addition, we also know more about how important the number zero is in the study of science education.

**The Properties of Zero**

Below will explain some of the unique properties of the number zero, namely:

1. A positive number added to zero will result in a positive number.

2. A negative number which, when added to zero, results in a negative number. Results like this apply the same as subtraction.

3. Zeros plus or minus zeros, the result is zero.

4. If zero is reduced by a positive number, then the result is a negative number (0 – positive number = negative number).

5. If the number zero minus a negative number will produce a positive number (0 – negative number = positive number).

6. Any number, if multiplied by zero, the result is zero

7. Any number divided by zero results in an undefined number.

Source: From various sources