Dictionary > Zero


Origin: F. Zero, from Ar. Cafrun, cifrun, empty, a cipher. Cf. Cipher.
1. (Science: mathematics) A cipher; nothing; naught.
2. The point from which the graduation of a scale, as of a thermometer, commences.
Zero in the centigrade, or celsius thermometer, and in the Reaumur thermometer, is at the point at which water congeals. The zero of the fahrenheit thermometer is fixed at the point at which the mercury stands when immersed in a mixture of snow and common salt. In Wedgwood’s pyrometer, the zero corresponds with 1077 deg on the Fahrenheit scale.
3. The lowest point; the point of exhaustion; as, his patience had nearly reached zero. Absolute zero. See absolute.
(Science: physics) Zero method, a method of comparing, or measuring, forces, electric currents, etc, by so opposing them that the pointer of an indicating apparatus, or the needle of a galvanometer, remains at, or is brought to, zero, as contrasted with methods in which the deflection is observed directly; called also null method. Zero point, the point indicating zero, or the commencement of a scale or reckoning.

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