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How Our Number System Came to be

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Jennifer Young

on 1 February 2013

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Transcript of How Our Number System Came to be

t Numbers have been used since man learned to count approxaimetly 32 thousand years ago, according to archaeologists. The very first number systems The very first number systems were tallying Tallying and ordinal counting are thought to be the first and simplest forms of counting. They have found old bones with tally marks on them. Ordinal was first started when man started counting on his fingers. Some ancient civilizations used place value systems. The Mayans used a system with the base value of 60, the oldest so far, created in 3400 BC. The Eygptians made one with a base value of 10 in 3100 BC. Our modern system also uses 10, orginating from India and Arabs. By Jennifer Young & Lizbeth Perez How Our Number Systems Came To Be The invention of modern number system is credited to the Indians. They are called Arabic numbers since they came to Europe through the Arabs. Persia, copied it, and when Italian mathematician, Fibbonacci, saw it, he copied it into his book "Liber Abaci" and took it back to Italy. The Chinese invented negative
numbers in 100 BC. The Indians
used it in 600 BC for computing
debts. The Greeks did not understand it until 3rd century AD. They thought it was fake and confusing. The invention of fractions can be traced to the ancient Eygptians. In 1800 BC they made the Kahun Papyrus that discusses fractions and other mathematical topics. Euclid's "Elements" are the best known about the topic for the Greeks. Zero was used by the Mayans, Egyptians, Babylonians and Indians. The Greeks were puzzled by this, and developed many philosophies on the subject. It was referred to as "the emptiness" by the Indians. THE END! An Indian text, the Sulba Sutra, expounds on irrational numbers. This text dates from 800 BC to 500 BC. Hippasus, a follower of Pythagoras, is credited for discovering irrational numbers at around the same time. Sadly, Hippasus was put to death by Pythagoras, for Pythagoras refused to believe in irrational numbers.
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