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Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 2, Nothing Comes of Nothing Summary

Charles Seife
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Chapter 2, Nothing Comes of Nothing Summary and Analysis

The ancient Greek universe rested upon the idea that there was no void; the zeroless world created by Pythagoras, Aristotle and Ptolemy survived the collapse of Greece. So the West resisted zero for two thousand years. Doing so stunted the growth of math, blocked scientific development and screwed up the calendar. The Greek philosophy of number was first formed by Pythagoras who, while being a great mathematician, also led a sort of ancient 'New Age' cult that held that all that exists was number. Pythagoras also was well-known in the ancient world for inventing the musical scale. Music became controlled mathematical beauty, the sound of proportions. And the Pythagoreans were able to come up with the first model of the planets from this system of proportionality which was represented by the scale.

Greeks applied proportions rigorously, classing...

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This section contains 1,256 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea Study Guide
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Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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