Hindu numeral system
It is a positional decimal numeral system, nowadays the most common symbolic representation of numbers in the world. It is also called as Hindu–Arabic numeral system. They were invented by Hindu mathematicians between the 1st and 5th centuries and first appeared in Brahma-sphuta-siddhanta (Correctly Established Doctrine of Brahma) written by Brahmagupta in 628 AD having 25 chapters, when he was 30 yrs old. The system was adopted, by Persian mathematicians Al-Khwarizmi’s (c. 825 book On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals) and Arab mathematicians Al-Kindi’s (c. 830 volumes On the Use of the Hindu Numerals) by the 9th century and later spread to the European countries by Arab merchants. That’s why the numeral system came to be called “Arabic” by the Europeans.
The system is based upon ten different glyphs (symbols) i.e the ten digits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 (Zero). The glyphs in actual use are descended from Hindu Brahmi numerals and have split into various typographical variants since the middle Ages. The numeral system was transmitted to Europe in the middle Ages by Leonardo Fibonacci. He brought this system to Europe with his book Liber Abaci which introduced Arabic numerals, the use of zero, and the decimal place system to the Latin world. It was used by European mathematics from the 12th century, and entered common use from the 15th century to replace Roman numerals. Robert Chester translated the Latin into English. In China, Gautama Siddha introduced Hindu numerals with zero in 718, but Chinese mathematicians did not find them useful, as they had already had the decimal positional counting rods. But Chinese and Japanese finally adopted the Hindu numerals in the 19th century, abandoning counting rods.
The significance of the development of the positional number system is probably best described by the French mathematician Pierre Simon Laplace (1749–1827) who wrote:
“It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by the means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position, as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit, but its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions, and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest minds produced by antiquity”.