5-speed listening (Zero - Level 5)

Written zero 500 years older than scientists thought






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Scientists from Oxford University have found that the written use of the zero is 500 years older than we thought. The scientists carbon dated the symbol's origins to an ancient Indian scroll called the Bakhshali Manuscript. Scientists found the scroll dates back to the third century. Before the dating of the scroll, scientists believed the manuscript was from the eighth century. It was found in the village of Bakhshali in 1881. The zero that we use today started from a round dot that was often used in India. This symbol can be seen several times on the manuscript.

A professor at Oxford University explained the importance of the zero. He told a British newspaper that we take the zero for granted and that it is "a key building block of the digital world". He said the zero, "evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript" and "was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics". Zero has many names in English, including nought, nil (in football) and love (in tennis). It is often said as "oh" for telephone numbers. Slang terms for zero include nowt, nada, zilch and zip.

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