Definition:Empty Set/Historical Note

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Historical Note on Empty Set

The concept of the empty set was stated by Leibniz in his initial conception of symbolic logic.

The use of $\O$ has relevance to the computing industry, when $\emptyset$ is usually used in the rendering of source code to mean "zero", in order to distinguish it from $\mathrm O$ (the letter O).

In the same context, the letter O was sometimes seen rendered as $\odot$, so as to ensure its being differentiated from "zero".

The latter has fallen out of use, but it is still common for mathematicians, when writing their mathematics by hand, to strike through their zeroes out of habit.