01-04-2020, 09:34 PM

Just thought I would start a thread where we post facts about the number 0. The facts themselves don't need to be mathematical in nature; however, they should be clearly related to the number 0 in some way .

I'll start off with:

1) Any number added to 0 equals itself.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Duh". You're probably very familiar with this: 6 + 0 = 6; 27 + 0 = 27; -9 + 0 = -9; and this works for any other number you might choose . However, to a mathematician, this property makes 0 special: there's no other number which has this property (if you try to solve equations like "6 + x = 6", or "27 + x = 27", you'll always get "x = 0").

There's actually a piece of mathematical jargon to describe this property: 0 is said to be the "additive identity". (Similarly, the number 1 is said to be the "multiplicative identity": any number multiplied by 1 equals itself. There are other "identities" like this in other areas of mathematics, but that's a matter for another thread: this just seemed like a convenient way to introduce the mathematical concept of 'identity', i.e. "thing which leaves everything else unchanged" )

And now, a non-mathematical one:

2) There are eight railway stations in the Great Britain which have a Platform 0

These stations are: Cardiff Central, Doncaster, Edinburgh Haymarket, Gravesend, King's Cross, Rainham, Redhill, and Stockport. Usually, when this happens, it's because they added a new platform next to Platform 1, and they didn't want to re-number everything (i.e. the new platform becomes "Platform 1", the old Platform 1 becomes "Platform 2", and so on, with every platform number increasing by 1... which would have led to a lot of confused passengers and missed trains . Sometimes, the station staff decide it just isn't worth the trouble, so they call the new platform "Platform 0", and leave all the other platforms with their original numbers - which is much easier for passengers to deal with )

I've been to two of these stations myself (Cardiff Central and Stockport). However, in this video, transport enthusiast Geoff Marshall teams up with mathematician Matt Parker to visit all eight of them:

I'd hate to think how much this convoluted train journey cost him. I can't imagine it was £0.00 !!!

So, do you have any more to add?

I'll start off with:

1) Any number added to 0 equals itself.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Duh". You're probably very familiar with this: 6 + 0 = 6; 27 + 0 = 27; -9 + 0 = -9; and this works for any other number you might choose . However, to a mathematician, this property makes 0 special: there's no other number which has this property (if you try to solve equations like "6 + x = 6", or "27 + x = 27", you'll always get "x = 0").

There's actually a piece of mathematical jargon to describe this property: 0 is said to be the "additive identity". (Similarly, the number 1 is said to be the "multiplicative identity": any number multiplied by 1 equals itself. There are other "identities" like this in other areas of mathematics, but that's a matter for another thread: this just seemed like a convenient way to introduce the mathematical concept of 'identity', i.e. "thing which leaves everything else unchanged" )

And now, a non-mathematical one:

2) There are eight railway stations in the Great Britain which have a Platform 0

These stations are: Cardiff Central, Doncaster, Edinburgh Haymarket, Gravesend, King's Cross, Rainham, Redhill, and Stockport. Usually, when this happens, it's because they added a new platform next to Platform 1, and they didn't want to re-number everything (i.e. the new platform becomes "Platform 1", the old Platform 1 becomes "Platform 2", and so on, with every platform number increasing by 1... which would have led to a lot of confused passengers and missed trains . Sometimes, the station staff decide it just isn't worth the trouble, so they call the new platform "Platform 0", and leave all the other platforms with their original numbers - which is much easier for passengers to deal with )

I've been to two of these stations myself (Cardiff Central and Stockport). However, in this video, transport enthusiast Geoff Marshall teams up with mathematician Matt Parker to visit all eight of them:

I'd hate to think how much this convoluted train journey cost him. I can't imagine it was £0.00 !!!

So, do you have any more to add?

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