Zero Biography: A Dangerous Idea Summary

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife has been on my reading list for the past month, and I finished it right before the October holiday.

As a result, I’ve decided to bring it up because I really enjoyed it. First and foremost, this is the first book I’ve read that focuses solely on a single number’s history. In fairness to myself, I had hoped it would be interesting based on the back cover description. I’ll just copy a few lines from there:

The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Christian Church used it to fend off heretics. Today it’s a time-bomb ticking in the heart of astrophysics.

As you can imagine, I was awed by this and eager to learn more about what it meant. I was pleased with the results. It was one of the best math books I’ve read in a while.

Gogoanime:What About You Know?

+One can’t help but be engrossed and shocked by it. It begins with a brief history of the number system we use today and how zero was not considered a number by many civilizations for a long time. I had no idea religion had such a profound impact on mathematics throughout history, and I found this to be fascinating.

In a seamless transition, the book then moves on to more technical topics like quantum mechanics and astrophysicists’ theories. You’d be surprised at how much this number has changed the way people think about everything from religion to mathematics.

This is a book that everyone should read. In order to be successful, you will need to have a basic understanding of higher-level mathematics (like calculus) and physics (like Einstein’s theory). I have to say that it has opened my eyes and I am eager to learn more about this topic. Finally, I’d like to share one of my favorite lines from the book with you:

Zero Biography

“Cultures girded themselves against zero, and philosophies crumbled under its influence, for zero is different from the other numbers. It provides a glimpse of the ineffable and the infinite. This is why it has been feared and hated – and outlawed.”


Thanks for reading this short, not very scientific, and probably rambling post, I hope it was interesting to you in some way. is where I’m most active when it comes to books. Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought of it in the comments section below. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done.

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