Explores the concept of nothingness, from the origins of zero in ancient India to attempts by modern mathematics, cosmology, theology, and physics to explain the role of "nothing" in the structure of the universe.
From one of our foremost mathematicians and cosmologists comes this fascinating exploration of the surprisingly substantial and varied nature of nothing.With unassailable expertise and a proven ability to make complex theories and ideas clearly accessible, John Barrow examines and explains every aspect of nothingness. From the zeros of mathematicians to the void of philosophers, from Shakespeare to the null set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, this book illustrates the fact that nothing is real. Barrow begins with the origins of zero in ancient India, its rocky reception in Europe, and the early abhorrence and eventual acceptance of the concept of the void by Christianity. He traces the notion through the work of writers and thinkers from the ancient Greeks to our own time. He looks at mathematics, cosmology, theology, and physics to uncover the nothing that is at the heart of most things. Finally, he discusses recent concepts of nothing, which are having profound effects on our search for the origins and overall structure of the universe.lluminating the many ways in which humankind has come to understand “nothing,” The Book of Nothing brilliantly belies its title.