The concept of zero, the symbol we use to represent nothingness or absence, is one of the most important mathematical innovations in human history. But despite its ubiquitous presence in mathematics today, it was not always universally understood or accepted.

The origins of zero stretch back thousands of years and across multiple cultures. However, pinpointing a specific person or culture that “invented” zero is difficult due to overlaps and gaps in our understanding of historical records.

One popular theory has traditionally credited Indian mathematicians with developing the concept of zero around 500 AD. The earliest known written representation of zero comes from an eighth-century manuscript found at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. The manuscript contains mathematical calculations performed by a Hindu astronomer named Bakhshali sometime between 200-400 CE.

This date predates any other known occurrence of the digit “0” as a placeholder within arithmetic texts and indicates that Bakhshali would have been familiar with invention/discovery/usage which predates him even further! This provides us great evidence about India being one country where significant progress might have been made towards this numeral system – which also includes work on negative numbers!

Furthermore, well-documented ancient Indian texts such as Brahmasphutasiddhanta and Aryabhatiya contain numerous references to three different types or representations for zero: as a standalone number (शून्य), as a numerical placeholder (खला) used to denote large numbers through place-value notation, and as an additive identity (पाद-संगुणक).

In fact if we break them down closely:

1) शून्य ‘sunya’, which literally means void but was used to describe something having no quantity

2) खल / क्षि�‘khala’ & ‘kshunra’ respectively meaning empty; vacuous; devoid of; nothing etc.

3) पाद-संगुणक ‘Pad-Sangunak’ means adding zero to the end of decimal figures to represent huge numbers as in crores and billions like 1,47,00,00,000.

These texts additionally describe arithmetic functions for addition, subtraction with zero (as well as fractions), and multiplication. These foundational concepts were gradually adopted by other cultures over time.

In contrast to India’s relatively early adoption of a numeral system including “0”, European mathematical traditions did not incorporate it until much later. The ancient Greeks famously rejected the concept of absolute nothingness and instead relied on geometry for their mathematical work; similarly, Roman numerals lacked a symbol for zero due to their additive nature.

However, Europe did encounter Indian mathematics from about the 12th century onward when scholars began translating Arabic versions of Hindu works into Latin. These works included examples featuring both negative numbers and zero – which many European mathematicians subsequently struggled with comprehending or even outright dismissed given that arithmetic based on such seemingly empty notions was outside how they normally thought!

Nevertheless, by the Renaissance era around 16th-century Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano had fully embraced working with negatives alongside zero providing an explicit numerical representation through complex equations within algebraic expressions thus making it officially part of Western mathematics too!

While we cannot pinpoint one single person who invented or discovered “zero” as we know it today – historians believe this may be simply because multiple individuals contributed incremental advances along the way continuously refining positional notation systems leading up towards what is widely accepted now thus ever since its humble origins in antiquity spanning across Indian and Mesopotamian cultures (also notably called ‘Babylonian’ numerals) has remained critical for scientific inquiry thanks partly due systematic documentation from various eras & regions.I.e., based on historic records using transcription technology like palm leaves in India allowed for extensive manuscripts.

In conclusion, despite the multiple claims about the actual inventor of “zero” it might not be wrong to believe that numerous cultures contributed steadily towards its evolution based on available mathematical/iatrochemical documentation much before being popularised in mainstream publications thus resulting in an incredible achievement and global standardized numeral system that almost everyone uses today.

The concept of zero, represented by the symbol “0”, is one of the most significant mathematical innovations in human history. It serves as a placeholder for nothingness and allows complex numerical calculations to be performed accurately. The origins of zero date back thousands of years, with multiple cultures contributing incremental advances towards its development.

One theory suggests that Indian mathematicians developed the concept of zero around 500 AD. Evidence comes from an eighth-century manuscript found at Oxford’s Bodleian Library containing mathematical calculations done by a Hindu astronomer named Bakhshali between 200-400 CE. This discovery predates any other known occurrence of the digit “0” as a placeholder within arithmetic texts and indicates that Bakhshali was familiar with it much before his time.

Well-documented ancient Indian texts such as Brahmasphutasiddhanta and Aryabhatiya describe three different representations for zero: standalone number (शून्य), numerical placeholder(खला) used to denote large numbers through place-value notation, and additive identity (पाद-संगुणक). These works also describe arithmetic functions for addition, subtraction (including fractions), multiplication, which served as foundational concepts gradually adopted by other cultures over time,.

In contrast to India’s relatively early adoption of numeral systems including “0,” European traditions did not incorporate it until much later. Greek mathematics famously rejected absolute nothingness in favourof geometrical approaches while Roman numerals lacked a symbolforzero altogether due to theiradditivenature.True use in Europe began when scholars started translating Arabic versions into Latin -although many refusedto acceptsuch seeminglyempty notionsuntilaroundthe16thcenturywhencomplex equations openlyembraced zerosandnegatives system acceptable in Western Maths

Historians cannot pinpointone single person who invented or discovered“zero”as weknowit today,simplybecausemultipleindividuals contributed incremental advances along the way continuously refining positional notation systems leading up towards what is widely accepted now thus ever since its beginnings, spanning across Indian and Mesopotamian cultures (notably called ‘Babylonian’ numerals),it remained critical for scientific inquiry thanks partly due systematicdocumentation from various eras & regions.

In conclusion, “zero” may be considered a remarkable achievement of multiple cultures rather than the work of one inventor. It evolved through incremental advances contributed by different peoples over thousands of years. Its universal acceptance has led to a standardized numerical system that almost everyone uses today.