Asian Geographic

Modern Numbers

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c. 500 ad

The numbering system used today in the Western world was first developed around 500 AD by Indian mathematic­ian and astronomer, Aryabhata I. His system was improved upon around 600 AD by Arab mathematic­ian, Muhammad ibn Musa alKhwarizm­i, who introduced the “positional zero” – zeroes used to indicate multiples of 10. For most applicatio­ns, this system soon replaced the cumbersome Latin system of Roman numerals. Once scholars could easily distinguis­h among one, 100, and 10,000, maths and science advanced in leaps and bounds.

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