**Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife, ISBN-13: 978-0140296471**

[PDF eBook eTextbook]

- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- 272 pages
- ISBN-10: 0140296476
- ISBN-13: 978-0140296471

**Popular math at its most entertaining and enlightening. “Zero is really something”-Washington Post**

**A New York Times Notable Book.**

The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Now it threatens the foundations of modern physics. For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in * mathematics*. For zero, infinity’s twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything.

In * Zero*, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Here are the legendary thinkers—from Pythagoras to Newton to Heisenberg, from the Kabalists to today’s astrophysicists—who have tried to understand it and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion. Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything.

**Table of Contents:**

Cover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Title Page

Copyright

Contents

Chapter 0 Null and Void

Chapter 1 Nothing Doing: The Origin of Zero

Chapter 2 Nothing Comes of Nothing: The West Rejects Zero

Chapter 3 Nothing Ventured: Zero Goes East

Chapter 4 The Infinite God of Nothing: The Theology of Zero

Chapter 5 Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians: Zero and the Scientific Revolution

Chapter 6 Infinity’s Twin: The Infinite Nature of Zero

Chapter 7 Absolute Zeros: The * Physics* of Zero

Chapter 8 Zero Hour at Ground Zero: Zero at the Edge of Space and Time

Chapter 9 Zero’s Final Victory: End Time

Appendix A Animal, Vegetable, or Minister?

Appendix B The Golden Ratio

Appendix C The Modern Definition of a

**Derivative**Appendix D Cantor Enumerates the Rational Numbers

Appendix E Make Your Own Wormhole Time Machine

Selected Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

*is the author of five previous books, including Proofiness and Virtual Unreality. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Wired, New Scientist, Science, Scientific American, and The Economist. He is a professor of journalism at*

**Charles Seife***and lives in New York City.*

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