The Greatest Mathematical Discovery?

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What mathematical discovery more than 1500 years ago: (1) Is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, single discovery in the field of mathematics? (2) Involved three subtle ideas that eluded the greatest minds of antiquity, even geniuses such as Archimedes? (3) Was fiercely resisted in Europe for hundreds of years after its discovery? (4) Even today, in historical treatments of mathematics, is often dismissed with scant mention, or else is ascribed to the wrong source? Answer: Our modern system of positional decimal notation with zero, together with the basic arithmetic computational schemes, which were discovered in India about ... continued below

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Bailey, David H. & Borwein, Jonathan M. May 12, 2010.

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Description

What mathematical discovery more than 1500 years ago: (1) Is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, single discovery in the field of mathematics? (2) Involved three subtle ideas that eluded the greatest minds of antiquity, even geniuses such as Archimedes? (3) Was fiercely resisted in Europe for hundreds of years after its discovery? (4) Even today, in historical treatments of mathematics, is often dismissed with scant mention, or else is ascribed to the wrong source? Answer: Our modern system of positional decimal notation with zero, together with the basic arithmetic computational schemes, which were discovered in India about 500 CE.

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3500E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/983483 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 983483
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013830

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • May 12, 2010

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 17, 2017, 6:14 p.m.

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Bailey, David H. & Borwein, Jonathan M. The Greatest Mathematical Discovery?, report, May 12, 2010; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013830/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.