Z is a group under + only. I think the use of the fact that additive groups require the identity element to justify the fact that 0 is an integer is perhaps a bit circular. 0 is an integer and is used in multiplication.

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- December 19th 2005, 10:00 PM #16

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- December 23rd 2005, 06:41 PM #17
## A long and sordid history

FYI, a frequent contributer to

*New Scientist*magazine has written a well-reviewed book on the history and various applications of this long-debated subject. The original poster has undoubtedly received more than he asked for.

"Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by noted science writer Charles Seife, starts with the story of a modern battleship stopped dead in the water by a loose zero, then rewinds back to several hundred years BCE. Some empty-headed genius improved the traditional Eastern counting methods immeasurably by adding zero as a placeholder, which allowed the genesis of our still-used decimal system. It's all been uphill from there, but Seife is enthusiastic about his subject; his synthesis of math, history, and anthropology seduces the reader into a new fascination with the most troubling number."

- January 20th 2006, 05:14 AM #18701Guest

- May 30th 2006, 12:26 AM #19

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- May 30th 2006, 01:28 PM #20

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