The concept of zero as a number and not just a placeholder was first developed by the ancient Babylonians, who used it as a placeholder in their base-60 number system. The ancient Mayans also had a concept of zero in their number system, which was independently developed. The concept of zero as a number was later adopted by the ancient Indians, who used it in their decimal number system. The Indian mathematician Brahmagupta was one of the first to give rules for arithmetic operations involving zero. The use of zero as a number was later spread to the Islamic world and then to the Western world, where it was adopted by Fibonacci in the 13th century.

Zero is an important concept in mathematics and science. It allows for the creation of a place-value number system, which makes arithmetic operations such as addition and subtraction much more efficient. It also allows for the use of fractions and decimals. In addition, zero is the starting point for many mathematical and scientific concepts, such as the concept of the “null set” in set theory, and the concept of the “origin” in geometry and physics.

Zero is also a key concept in computer science, as it is used to represent the absence of a value or the end of a sequence of data. It also plays an important role in digital logic and the design of electronic circuits.