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Edit made on July 30, 2009 by ColinWright at 10:24:20
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The Binary or base-2 counting system is a system of numbers using only 0 and 1.
For example the number EQN:110101_2
| !* EQN:2^5 | EQN:2^4 | EQN:2^3 | EQN:2^2 | EQN:2^1 | EQN:2^0 |
| 1 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 |
represents the number 32 + 16 + 4 + 1 = 53
Because of the simplicity of the binary counting system and normally electromagnetic storage devices only have the facility to store information in one of two states i.e. on or off, computers make great use the base-2 counting system.
"Binary" means "involving exactly two". Usually this refers to two states, or two items. Thus we talk about
* Binary Numbers, where we only have two digits ("binary digits" contracts to "bits"),
* "Binary Operation" which is a method for combining two items
* "Binary Relation" which is a relationship involving two sets.