# The Zero has a new cousin

One of the unsolved paradoxes in mathematics since times immemorial is the paradox of zero. The zero is a place holder and on placing it after a number, it enhances the value of that number tenfold. Subsequent zeroes enhance the value of the number to hundred folds, thousand folds and so on and so forth. On the other hand, the same term ‘zero’ and its symbol ‘0’ represent “nothing” when standing alone or placed before a digit or after a digit preceded by a decimal. This seems illogical and is exceptional as no other whole number from 1 to 9 displays this unique characteristic.

Two brothers have now come up with a simple solution to this dichotomy which is easy to adopt without disturbing the existing setups. In a communication published in the April, 2020 issue of Science Reporter, Jag Mohan Saxena and Hari Mohan Saxena have proposed to use different terms and symbols to represent the different values of this number. According to their scheme, the term ‘void’ and symbol 0 should be used to denote “nothing” whereas the same old term ‘zero’ and its symbol ‘0’ should be used to denote the number with the characteristic of place value. This scheme can be readily implemented without any changes to the existing keyboards of computers by creating the symbol ‘0’ using the ‘0’ key along with the command for double strikethrough function. Jag Mohan Saxena is a banker at Bikaner while Hari Mohan Saxena is a Professor at Ludhiana.** **

The letter published in the Science Reporter