Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
Do you really want to delete this prezi?
Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.
Make your likes visible on Facebook?
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.
the history of numbers
Transcript of the history of numbers
The Development of Numbers When people are asked what the number system looks like, they will usually 'um' and 'ah' before saying that it looks like a line with the whole numbers strung out like pearls along a necklace. This point of view goes back a very long way. The natural numbers (those integers which are positive and non-zero) were used by people in the Stone Age for counting things like property and enemies. Zero was used as a number representing the state of not having something3. Negatives came along much later to allow debt collectors to work out how much they could extract4 from those suffering from an overload of zeroes. Elementary, my Dear Watson! People often think that this way of getting around awkward problems is cheating, and that it defines the answer in terms of itself. Mathematicians shrug these off by answering back: 'How do you define anything?' It's a simple trick but a necessary one. How can you define red without a red object? How can you define '1' without using '1 of something' to do so? It's not cheating; it's just how things are.