Zero in Mathematics

Topics: Integer, Natural number, Numeral system Pages: 1 (319 words) Published: April 19, 2012
Zero is a number and a digit used in mathematics to represent that number in numerals. Zero is not a natural number but it is the smallest whole number. There are two important uses of zero. Firstly, in place value number system it is used as empty place indicator. Hence, in this number, 5102, the positions of 5 and one are correct just because of the inclusion of zero. Five is denoting a thousandth place value. Similarly if we omit zero from 5102 that is 512, then 5 denote a hundredth place value. Thus, it shows a notable difference. Secondly zero is a number itself which we use in the form of 0 (Robertson, 2000). Zero is the smallest whole number. The whole numbers greater than zero are called positive integers, whereas, the whole numbers less than zero are referred to as negative integers. Zero is an integer itself but it is neither positive nor negative. Therefore, in early times, the concept of zero was the harder to accept than negative numbers as people were aware of the loss and debt which is a negative phenomenon. But historically, in many cultures, zero was identified before the acceptance of the negative numbers. It leads to a conclusion that if zero is not there than there is no concept of negative numbers. In stock market, the value of the stock can be determined through the concept of integers (Biello, 2011). For example, a stock was purchased at a price of $36.13 and it was sold at $37.01, the change in price of that particular stock is $0.88 in positive which is a gain for the seller (initial stock holder). Another example is rising and falling of temperature. In winter season or at night the temperature falls and starts moving towards zero or less than zero. On the other side, the temperature rises and moves positively during summer.
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