The number system ‘Zero’ was invented by

(A) Ramanujam

(B) Aryabhatta

(C) Patanjali

(D) An unknown person

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** Answer:** (B) The concept of zero as a number and not merely a symbol for separation is attributed to India, where, by the 9th century AD, practical calculations were carried out using zero, which was treated like any other number, even in the case of division. The credit for inventing ‘zero (0)’ goes to Indian mathematicians, and the number zero first appears in a book about ‘arithmetic’ written by an Indian mathematician ‘Brahamagupta’. Zero signifies ‘nothing’ and the current definition calls it an ‘additive identity’. The Indian mathematicians Bhaskara, Mahavira and Brahamagupta worked on this new number and they tried to explain its properties. It wasn’t that somebody suddenly came up with the idea of the zero and the mathematicians throughout the world accepted it. Around 500 AD, Aryabhatta, an Indian mathematician, devised a numbers system and the symbol he used for the number zero was also the number used to represent an unknown element (x).