Articles - 'a', 'an' and 'the'


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Scientists from Oxford University in England have discovered that written use of zero is 500 years older than previously thought. scientists used carbon dating to trace symbol's origins to famous ancient Indian scroll called Bakhshali Manuscript. Scientists found scroll dates back to third century, which makes it oldest script using symbol. Before the carbon dating of scroll, scientists believed manuscript was created in the eighth century. It was found in the village of Bakhshali in 1881. The zero symbol that we use today evolved from round dot frequently used in India. This symbol can be seen several times on the manuscript.

Marcus Du Santoy, mathematics professor at Oxford University, explained significance of the zero in our lives. He told Britain's 'Guardian' newspaper that: "Today, we take it for granted that concept of zero is used across globe and is key building block of the digital world. But the creation of zero as number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript, was one of greatest breakthroughs in history of mathematics." Zero has many names in English, including nought, nil (in football) and love (in tennis). It is often said as "oh" in context of telephone numbers. Informal or slang terms for zero include nowt, nada, zilch and zip.

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