# 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

Would the following be a counter-argument?

The 10x quality (10x bigger to the left, 10x smaller to the right) does not belong to the zero symbol but to the number position relative to the decimal point.

In whatever position it is located, zero indicates "nothing here" and has no role in determining the size of adjacent numbers. If only zeros appear both sides of the point, then we have a void.

This raises the question of whether voids can be conceived of as varying in size: can we say that

0000.0000 is a bigger void than 0.0, and that 0000.0000 does not equal 0.0?