Pinky was having a wonderful time learning Roman numerals. She was enjoying a lot as she was using different letters to represent different numbers. Pinky was very happy until she reached the number one lakh, at this point she suddenly realized that zero was not represented anywhere in Roman numerals. This made her wonder why that was so. she decided to ask her teacher.
The next day when she reached school and met her maths teacher, she asked her question. Her teacher explained, “In Roman numerals you don’t find a representation for the number zero because the Romans never used it. Roman numerals, one of the earliest numbering systems, were introduced for the purposes of trading and in trading the number zero had no value. It was only later that Arya Bhatta introduced zero as a positional number. From that time zero had a value and now zero is represented as ‘nulla’ in Roman numerals.” Pinky’s curiosity was stirred. She wanted to know more about Indian mathematicians and look for more such amazing mathematical facts.
Learning maths can be fun when you know such tricky and funny facts.
Here are a couple more facts that I hope will pique your curiosity and make you want to explore the subject more:
➢ Among all shapes with same area, the circle has the shortest perimeter.
➢ 40 when written “forty” is the only number with the letters in the alphabetical order.
➢ Have you ever noticed that the opposite sides of a die always add up to seven?
The author is a student teacher from K.J.Somaiya College of Education. She did her graduation in mathematics from S.I.E.S College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai. She can be reached at [email protected]