I have found a 1 hour video on the history of the numbers. The video is created by the ex-Monty Python member Terry Jones and was created for the BBC in 2005. I think it is a very humoruos way to introduce some mathematical history, even though I can’t verify the correctness of the history.

It has been aired on television in many countries but is also available through google video.

It gives me something to think about. Even though it seems simple to figure out the number 0, and even though much of the basic mathematics today seems simple, it has been incredibly difficult to invent. One examples is the numbers, we take them for granted today, but seeing in the video how difficult it was to invent a system without limitations to the size of the number you want to write says a lot about how far we have come in mathematics today.

The video is available through sources like amazon as well, but only region 1, which means if you are a non us-citizen you may have problems viewing it. The image on the left is linked directly to the Amazon page where you can purchase it and let me earn commission.

On last thing I would like to mention is that several people, especially math teachers on the internet praises the video as being a good tool, so if you are in school maybe give your teacher a hint for something fun to watch and be inspired by.

Enjoy

Written by Kristian on 23 February 2011

Topics: Other