The
binary numeral system, or
base2 number system, represents numeric values using two symbols,
00 is both a numberand the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals.It fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, 0 is used as a placeholder in place value systems...
and
1. More specifically, the usual base
2 system is a
positional notationPositional notation or placevalue notation is a method of representing or encoding numbers. Positional notation is distinguished from other notations for its use of the same symbol for the different orders of magnitude...
with a
radixIn mathematical numeral systems, the base or radix for the simplest case is the number of unique digits, including zero, that a positional numeral system uses to represent numbers. For example, for the decimal system the radix is ten, because it uses the ten digits from 0 through 9.In any numeral...
of 2. Because of its straightforward implementation in digital electronic circuitry using
logic gateA logic gate is an idealized or physical device implementing a Boolean function, that is, it performs a logical operation on one or more logic inputs and produces a single logic output. Depending on the context, the term may refer to an ideal logic gate, one that has for instance zero rise time and...
s, the binary system is used internally by almost all modern
computerA computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...
s.
History
The Indian scholar
PingalaPingala is the traditional name of the author of the ' , the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody.Nothing is known about Piṅgala himself...
(
circaCirca , usually abbreviated c. or ca. , means "approximately" in the English language, usually referring to a date...
5th–2nd centuries BC) developed mathematical concepts for describing prosody, and in so doing presented the first known description of a binary numeral system. He used binary numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter equal in length to two short syllables), making it similar to
Morse codeMorse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of onoff tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...
.
Pingala's Hindu classic titled Chandaḥśāstra (8.23) describes the formation of a matrix in order to give a unique value to each meter. An example of such a matrix is as follows:
0 0 0 0 numerical value 1
1 0 0 0 numerical value 2
0 1 0 0 numerical value 3
1 1 0 0 numerical value 4
A set of eight trigrams and a set of 64
hexagramsThe I Ching book consists of 64 hexagrams.A hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines , where each line is either Yang , or Yin . The hexagram lines are traditionally counted from the bottom up, so the lowest line is considered line 1 while the top line is line 6...
, analogous to the threebit and sixbit binary numerals, were known in
ancient ChinaThe Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...
through the
classic textChinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the preQin Chinese texts, especially the NeoConfucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these preQin texts...
I ChingThe I Ching or "Yì Jīng" , also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts...
. In the 11th century, scholar and philosopher
Shao YongShao Yong , courtesy name Yaofu , named Shào Kāngjié after death, was a Song Dynasty Chinese philosopher, cosmologist, poet and historian who greatly influenced the development of NeoConfucianism in China....
developed a method for arranging the hexagrams which corresponds to the sequence 0 to 63, as represented in binary, with yin as 0, yang as 1 and the
least significant bitIn computing, the least significant bit is the bit position in a binary integer giving the units value, that is, determining whether the number is even or odd. The lsb is sometimes referred to as the rightmost bit, due to the convention in positional notation of writing less significant digits...
on top. There is, however, no evidence that Shao understood binary computation. The ordering is also the
lexicographical orderIn mathematics, the lexicographic or lexicographical order, , is a generalization of the way the alphabetical order of words is based on the alphabetical order of letters.Definition:Given two partially ordered sets A and B, the lexicographical order on...
on sextuples of elements chosen from a twoelement set.
Similar sets of binary combinations have also been used in traditional African divination systems such as
IfáIfá refers to the system of divination and the verses of the literary corpus known as the Odú Ifá. Yoruba religion identifies Orunmila as the Grand Priest; as that which revealed Oracle divinity to the world...
as well as in
medievalThe Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a threeperiod division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...
Western geomancy. The base2 system utilized in geomancy had long been widely applied in subSaharan Africa.
In 1605
Francis BaconFrancis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...
discussed a system whereby letters of the alphabet could be reduced to sequences of binary digits, which could then be encoded as scarcely visible variations in the font in any random text. Importantly for the general theory of binary encoding, he added that this method could be used with any objects at all: "provided those objects be capable of a twofold difference only; as by Bells, by Trumpets, by Lights and Torches, by the report of Muskets, and any instruments of like nature". (See
Bacon's cipherBacon's cipher or the Baconian cipher is a method of steganography devised by Francis Bacon. A message is concealed in the presentation of text, rather than its content.Cipher details:...
.)
The modern binary number system was studied by
Gottfried LeibnizGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....
in 1679. See his article:
Explication de l'Arithmétique Binaire(1703). Leibniz's system uses 0 and 1, like the modern binary numeral system. As a
SinophileA Sinophile is a person who demonstrates a strong interest in aspects of Chinese culture or its people...
, Leibniz was aware of the
I Ching and noted with fascination how its hexagrams correspond to the binary numbers from 0 to 111111, and concluded that this mapping was evidence of major Chinese accomplishments in the sort of philosophical
mathematicsMathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...
he admired.
In 1854,
BritishThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
mathematician
George BooleGeorge Boole was an English mathematician and philosopher.As the inventor of Boolean logic—the basis of modern digital computer logic—Boole is regarded in hindsight as a founder of the field of computer science. Boole said,...
published a landmark paper detailing an
algebraAlgebra is the branch of mathematics concerning the study of the rules of operations and relations, and the constructions and concepts arising from them, including terms, polynomials, equations and algebraic structures...
ic system of
logicIn philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...
that would become known as Boolean algebra. His logical calculus was to become instrumental in the design of digital electronic circuitry.
In 1937, Claude Shannon produced his master's thesis at MIT that implemented Boolean algebra and binary arithmetic using electronic relays and switches for the first time in history. Entitled
A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching CircuitsA Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits is the title of a master's thesis written by computer science pioneer Claude E. Shannon while attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1937...
, Shannon's thesis essentially founded practical
digital circuitDigital electronics represent signals by discrete bands of analog levels, rather than by a continuous range. All levels within a band represent the same signal state...
design.
In November 1937,
George StibitzGeorge Robert Stibitz is internationally recognized as one of the fathers of the modern digital computer...
, then working at
Bell LabsBell Laboratories is the research and development subsidiary of the Frenchowned AlcatelLucent and previously of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company , halfowned through its Western Electric manufacturing subsidiary.Bell Laboratories operates its...
, completed a relaybased computer he dubbed the "Model K" (for "
Kitchen", where he had assembled it), which calculated using binary addition. Bell Labs thus authorized a full research programme in late 1938 with Stibitz at the helm. Their Complex Number Computer, completed January 8, 1940, was able to calculate complex numbers. In a demonstration to the
American Mathematical SocietyThe American Mathematical Society is an association of professional mathematicians dedicated to the interests of mathematical research and scholarship, which it does with various publications and conferences as well as annual monetary awards and prizes to mathematicians.The society is one of the...
conference at
Dartmouth CollegeDartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...
on September 11, 1940, Stibitz was able to send the Complex Number Calculator remote commands over telephone lines by a teletype. It was the first computing machine ever used remotely over a phone line. Some participants of the conference who witnessed the demonstration were
John Von NeumannJohn von Neumann was a HungarianAmerican mathematician and polymath who made major contributions to a vast number of fields, including set theory, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, ergodic theory, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics and game theory, computer science, numerical analysis,...
,
John MauchlyJohn William Mauchly was an American physicist who, along with J. Presper Eckert, designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States.Together they started the first computer company,...
and
Norbert WienerNorbert Wiener was an American mathematician.A famous child prodigy, Wiener later became an early researcher in stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems.Wiener is regarded as the originator of cybernetics, a...
, who wrote about it in his memoirs.
Representation
Any number can be represented by any sequence of
bitA bit is the basic unit of information in computing and telecommunications; it is the amount of information stored by a digital device or other physical system that exists in one of two possible distinct states...
s (binary digits), which in turn may be represented by any mechanism capable of being in two mutually exclusive states. The following sequence of symbols could all be interpreted as the binary numeric value of 667:
1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1
 −  − −   −  
x o x o o x x o x x
y n y n n y y n y y
The numeric value represented in each case is dependent upon the value assigned to each symbol. In a computer, the numeric values may be represented by two different
voltageVoltage, otherwise known as electrical potential difference or electric tension is the difference in electric potential between two points — or the difference in electric potential energy per unit charge between two points...
s; on a
magneticA magnetic field is a mathematical description of the magnetic influence of electric currents and magnetic materials. The magnetic field at any given point is specified by both a direction and a magnitude ; as such it is a vector field.Technically, a magnetic field is a pseudo vector;...
diskDisk storage or disc storage is a general category of storage mechanisms, in which data are digitally recorded by various electronic, magnetic, optical, or mechanical methods on a surface layer deposited of one or more planar, round and rotating disks...
, magnetic polarities may be used. A "positive", "
yes Yes and no are two words for expressing affirmatives and negatives respectively in English . Early Middle English had a fourform system, but Modern English has reduced this to a twoform system consisting of 'yes' and 'no'. Some languages do not answer yesno questions with single words meaning...
", or "on" state is not necessarily equivalent to the numerical value of one; it depends on the architecture in use.
In keeping with customary representation of numerals using
Arabic numeralsArabic numerals or Hindu numerals or HinduArabic numerals or IndoArabic numerals are the ten digits . They are descended from the HinduArabic numeral system developed by Indian mathematicians, in which a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a numeral...
, binary numbers are commonly written using the symbols
0 and
1. When written, binary numerals are often subscripted, prefixed or suffixed in order to indicate their base, or radix. The following notations are equivalent:
 100101 binary (explicit statement of format)
 100101b (a suffix indicating binary format)
 100101B (a suffix indicating binary format)
 bin 100101 (a prefix indicating binary format)
 100101_{2} (a subscript indicating base2 (binary) notation)
 %100101 (a prefix indicating binary format)
 0b100101 (a prefix indicating binary format, common in programming languages)
 6b100101 (a prefix indicating number of bits in binary format, common in programming languages)
When spoken, binary numerals are usually read digitbydigit, in order to distinguish them from decimal numbers. For example, the binary numeral 100 is pronounced
one zero zero, rather than
one hundred, to make its binary nature explicit, and for purposes of correctness. Since the binary numeral 100 is equal to the decimal value four, it would be confusing to refer to the numeral as
one hundred.
Counting in binary
Decimal pattern 
Binary numbers 
0 
0 
1 
1 
2 
10 
3 
11 
4 
100 
5 
101 
6 
110 
7 
111 
8 
1000 
9 
1001 
10 
1010 
11 
1011 
12 
1100 
13 
1101 
14 
1110 
15 
1111 
16 
10000 
Counting in binary is similar to counting in any other number system. Beginning with a single digit, counting proceeds through each symbol, in increasing order. Decimal counting uses the symbols
0 through
9, while binary only uses the symbols
0 and
1.
When the symbols for the first digit are exhausted, the nexthigher digit (to the left) is incremented, and counting starts
over at 0. In
decimalThe decimal numeral system has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations....
, counting proceeds like so:
 000, 001, 002, ... 007, 008, 009, (rightmost digit starts over, and next digit is incremented)
 010, 011, 012, ...
 ...
 090, 091, 092, ... 097, 098, 099, (rightmost two digits start over, and next digit is incremented)
 100, 101, 102, ...
After a digit reaches 9, an increment resets it to 0 but also causes an increment of the next digit to the left. In binary, counting is the same except that only the two symbols 0 and 1 are used. Thus after a digit reaches 1 in binary, an increment resets it to 0 but also causes an increment of the next digit to the left:
 0000,
 0001, (rightmost digit starts over, and next digit is incremented)
 0010, 0011, (rightmost two digits start over, and next digit is incremented)
 0100, 0101, 0110, 0111, (rightmost three digits start over, and the next digit is incremented)
 1000, 1001, ...
Since binary is a base2 system, each digit represents an increasing power of 2, with the rightmost digit representing 2
^{0}, the next representing 2
^{1}, then 2
^{2}, and so on. To determine the decimal representation of a binary number simply take the sum of the products of the binary digits and the powers of 2 which they represent. For example, the binary number:
100101
is converted to decimal form by:
[(
1) × 2
^{5}] + [(
0) × 2
^{4}] + [(
0) × 2
^{3}] + [(
1) × 2
^{2}] + [(
0) × 2
^{1}] + [(
1) × 2
^{0}] =
[
1 × 32] + [
0 × 16] + [
0 × 8] + [
1 × 4] + [
0 × 2] + [
1 × 1] = 37
To create higher numbers, additional digits are simply added to the left side of the binary representation.
Fractions in binary
Fractions in binary only terminate if the denominator has
2 as the only
prime factorIn number theory, the prime factors of a positive integer are the prime numbers that divide that integer exactly, without leaving a remainder. The process of finding these numbers is called integer factorization, or prime factorization. A prime factor can be visualized by understanding Euclid's...
. As a result, 1/10 does not have a finite binary representation, and this causes 10 × 0.1 not to be precisely equal to 1 in floating point arithmetic. As an example, to interpret the binary expression for 1/3 = .010101..., this means: 1/3 = 0 ×
2^{−1} + 1 ×
2^{−2} + 0 ×
2^{−3} + 1 ×
2^{−4} + ... = 0.3125 + ... An exact value cannot be found with a sum of a finite number of inverse powers of two, and zeros and ones alternate forever.
Fraction 
Decimal 
Binary 
Fractional Approx. 
1/1 
1or0.999... 
1or0.111... 
1/2+1/4+1/8... 
1/2 
0.5or0.4999... 
0.1or0.0111... 
1/4+1/8+1/16... 
1/3 
0.333... 
0.010101... 
1/4+1/16+1/64... 
1/4 
0.25or0.24999... 
0.01or0.00111... 
1/8+1/16+1/32... 
1/5 
0.2or0.1999... 
0.00110011... 
1/8+1/16+1/128... 
1/6 
0.1666... 
0.0010101... 
1/8+1/32+1/128... 
1/7 
0.142857142857... 
0.001001... 
1/8+1/64+1/512... 
1/8 
0.125or0.124999... 
0.001or0.000111... 
1/16+1/32+1/64... 
1/9 
0.111... 
0.000111000111... 
1/16+1/32+1/64... 
1/10 
0.1or0.0999... 
0.000110011... 
1/16+1/32+1/256... 
1/11 
0.090909... 
0.00010111010001011101... 
1/16+1/64+1/128... 
1/12 
0.08333... 
0.00010101... 
1/16+1/64+1/256... 
1/13 
0.076923076923... 
0.000100111011000100111011... 
1/16+1/128+1/256... 
1/14 
0.0714285714285... 
0.0001001001... 
1/16+1/128+1/1024... 
1/15 
0.0666... 
0.00010001... 
1/16+1/256... 
1/16 
0.0625or0.0624999... 
0.0001or0.0000111... 
1/32+1/64+1/128... 
Binary arithmetic
ArithmeticArithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple daytoday counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...
in binary is much like arithmetic in other numeral systems. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division can be performed on binary numerals.
Addition
The simplest arithmetic operation in binary is
additionAddition is a mathematical operation that represents combining collections of objects together into a larger collection. It is signified by the plus sign . For example, in the picture on the right, there are 3 + 2 apples—meaning three apples and two other apples—which is the same as five apples....
. Adding two singledigit binary numbers is relatively simple, using a form of carrying:
 0 + 0 → 0
 0 + 1 → 1
 1 + 0 → 1
 1 + 1 → 0, carry 1 (since 1 + 1 = 0 + 1 × binary 10)
Adding two "1" digits produces a digit "0", while 1 will have to be added to the next column. This is similar to what happens in decimal when certain singledigit numbers are added together; if the result equals or exceeds the value of the radix (10), the digit to the left is incremented:
 5 + 5 → 0, carry 1 (since 5 + 5 = 0 + 1 × 10)
 7 + 9 → 6, carry 1 (since 7 + 9 = 6 + 1 × 10)
This is known as
carrying. When the result of an addition exceeds the value of a digit, the procedure is to "carry" the excess amount divided by the radix (that is, 10/10) to the left, adding it to the next positional value. This is correct since the next position has a weight that is higher by a factor equal to the radix. Carrying works the same way in binary:
1 1 1 1 1 (carried digits)
0 1 1 0 1
+ 1 0 1 1 1

= 1 0 0 1 0 0
In this example, two numerals are being added together: 01101
_{2} (13
_{10}) and 10111
_{2} (23
_{10}). The top row shows the carry bits used. Starting in the rightmost column, 1 + 1 = 10
_{2}. The 1 is carried to the left, and the 0 is written at the bottom of the rightmost column. The second column from the right is added: 1 + 0 + 1 = 10
_{2} again; the 1 is carried, and 0 is written at the bottom. The third column: 1 + 1 + 1 = 11
_{2}. This time, a 1 is carried, and a 1 is written in the bottom row. Proceeding like this gives the final answer 100100
_{2} (36 decimal).
When computers must add two numbers, the rule that:
x xor y = (x + y)
modIn computing, the modulo operation finds the remainder of division of one number by another.Given two positive numbers, and , a modulo n can be thought of as the remainder, on division of a by n...
2
for any two bits x and y allows for very fast calculation, as well.
A simplification for many binary addition problems is the Long Carry Method or Brookhouse Method of Binary Addition. This method is generally useful in any binary addition where one of the numbers has a long string of “1” digits. For example the following large binary numbers can be added in two simple steps without multiple carries from one place to the next.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (carried digits) (Long Carry Method)
1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0
1 1 1 0
1 1 1 1 1 0
+ 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 Versus: + 1 0
1 0 1 1 0 0
1 1 add crossed out digits first
 + 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 = sum of crossed out digits
= 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1  now add remaining digits
1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
In this example, two numerals are being added together: 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0
_{2} (958
_{10}) and 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1
_{2} (691
_{10}). The top row shows the carry bits used. Instead of the standard carry from one column to the next, the lowest placevalued "1" with a "1" in the corresponding place value beneath it may be added and a "1" may be carried to one digit past the end of the series. These numbers must be crossed off since they are already added. Then simply add that result to the uncanceled digits in the second row. Proceeding like this gives the final answer 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
_{2} (1649
_{10}).
Addition table
The binary addition table is similar, but not the same, as the Truth table of the
Logical disjunctionIn logic and mathematics, a twoplace logical connective or, is a logical disjunction, also known as inclusive disjunction or alternation, that results in true whenever one or more of its operands are true. E.g. in this context, "A or B" is true if A is true, or if B is true, or if both A and B are...
operation
. The difference is that
, while
.
Subtraction
SubtractionIn arithmetic, subtraction is one of the four basic binary operations; it is the inverse of addition, meaning that if we start with any number and add any number and then subtract the same number we added, we return to the number we started with...
works in much the same way:
 0 − 0 → 0
 0 − 1 → 1, borrow 1
 1 − 0 → 1
 1 − 1 → 0
Subtracting a "1" digit from a "0" digit produces the digit "1", while 1 will have to be subtracted from the next column. This is known as
borrowing. The principle is the same as for carrying. When the result of a subtraction is less than 0, the least possible value of a digit, the procedure is to "borrow" the deficit divided by the radix (that is, 10/10) from the left, subtracting it from the next positional value.
* * * * (starred columns are borrowed from)
1 1 0 1 1 1 0
− 1 0 1 1 1

= 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Subtracting a positive number is equivalent to
adding a negative number of equal
absolute valueIn mathematics, the absolute value a of a real number a is the numerical value of a without regard to its sign. So, for example, the absolute value of 3 is 3, and the absolute value of 3 is also 3...
; computers typically use
two's complementThe two's complement of a binary number is defined as the value obtained by subtracting the number from a large power of two...
notation to represent negative values. This notation eliminates the need for a separate "subtract" operation. Using two's complement notation subtraction can be summarized by the following formula:
A − B = A + not B + 1
For further details, see
two's complementThe two's complement of a binary number is defined as the value obtained by subtracting the number from a large power of two...
.
Multiplication
MultiplicationMultiplication is the mathematical operation of scaling one number by another. It is one of the four basic operations in elementary arithmetic ....
in binary is similar to its decimal counterpart. Two numbers
A and
B can be multiplied by partial products: for each digit in
B, the product of that digit in
A is calculated and written on a new line, shifted leftward so that its rightmost digit lines up with the digit in
B that was used. The sum of all these partial products gives the final result.
Since there are only two digits in binary, there are only two possible outcomes of each partial multiplication:
 If the digit in B is 0, the partial product is also 0
 If the digit in B is 1, the partial product is equal to A
For example, the binary numbers 1011 and 1010 are multiplied as follows:
1 0 1 1 (A)
× 1 0 1 0 (B)

0 0 0 0 ← Corresponds to a zero in B
+ 1 0 1 1 ← Corresponds to a one in B
+ 0 0 0 0
+ 1 0 1 1

= 1 1 0 1 1 1 0
Binary numbers can also be multiplied with bits after a binary point:
1 0 1.1 0 1 (A) (5.625 in decimal)
× 1 1 0.0 1 (B) (6.25 in decimal)

1.0 1 1 0 1 ← Corresponds to a one in B
+ 0 0.0 0 0 0 ← Corresponds to a zero in B
+ 0 0 0.0 0 0
+ 1 0 1 1.0 1
+ 1 0 1 1 0.1

= 1 0 0 0 1 1.0 0 1 0 1 (35.15625 in decimal)
See also
Booth's multiplication algorithmBooth's multiplication algorithm is a multiplication algorithm that multiplies two signed binary numbers in two's complement notation. The algorithm was invented by Andrew Donald Booth in 1950 while doing research on crystallography at Birkbeck College in Bloomsbury, London...
.
Multiplication table
The binary multiplication table is the same as the Truth table of the
Logical conjunctionIn logic and mathematics, a twoplace logical operator and, also known as logical conjunction, results in true if both of its operands are true, otherwise the value of false....
operation
.
Division
Binary
divisionrightthumb200px20 \div 4=5In mathematics, especially in elementary arithmetic, division is an arithmetic operation.Specifically, if c times b equals a, written:c \times b = a\,...
is again similar to its decimal counterpart:
Here, the divisor is 101
_{2}, or 5 decimal, while the dividend is 11011
_{2}, or 27 decimal. The procedure is the same as that of decimal
long divisionIn arithmetic, long division is a standard procedure suitable for dividing simple or complex multidigit numbers. It breaks down a division problem into a series of easier steps. As in all division problems, one number, called the dividend, is divided by another, called the divisor, producing a...
; here, the divisor 101
_{2} goes into the first three digits 110
_{2} of the dividend one time, so a "1" is written on the top line. This result is multiplied by the divisor, and subtracted from the first three digits of the dividend; the next digit (a "1") is included to obtain a new threedigit sequence:
1
___________
1 0 1 ) 1 1 0 1 1 1
− 1 0 1

0 1 1
The procedure is then repeated with the new sequence, continuing until the digits in the dividend have been exhausted:
1 0 1
___________
1 0 1 ) 1 1 0 1 1
− 1 0 1

0 1 1
− 0 0 0

1 1 1
− 1 0 1

1 0
Thus, the quotient of 11011
_{2} divided by 101
_{2} is 101
_{2}, as shown on the top line, while the remainder, shown on the bottom line, is 10
_{2}. In decimal, 27 divided by 5 is 5, with a remainder of 2.
Bitwise operations
Though not directly related to the numerical interpretation of binary symbols, sequences of bits may be manipulated using
Boolean logical operatorsIn logic, a logical connective is a symbol or word used to connect two or more sentences in a grammatically valid way, such that the compound sentence produced has a truth value dependent on the respective truth values of the original sentences.Each logical connective can be expressed as a...
. When a string of binary symbols is manipulated in this way, it is called a
bitwise operationA bitwise operation operates on one or more bit patterns or binary numerals at the level of their individual bits. This is used directly at the digital hardware level as well as in microcode, machine code and certain kinds of high level languages...
; the logical operators
ANDIn logic and mathematics, a twoplace logical operator and, also known as logical conjunction, results in true if both of its operands are true, otherwise the value of false....
,
ORIn logic and mathematics, a twoplace logical connective or, is a logical disjunction, also known as inclusive disjunction or alternation, that results in true whenever one or more of its operands are true. E.g. in this context, "A or B" is true if A is true, or if B is true, or if both A and B are...
, and
XORThe logical operation exclusive disjunction, also called exclusive or , is a type of logical disjunction on two operands that results in a value of true if exactly one of the operands has a value of true...
may be performed on corresponding bits in two binary numerals provided as input. The logical
NOTIn logic and mathematics, negation, also called logical complement, is an operation on propositions, truth values, or semantic values more generally. Intuitively, the negation of a proposition is true when that proposition is false, and vice versa. In classical logic negation is normally identified...
operation may be performed on individual bits in a single binary numeral provided as input. Sometimes, such operations may be used as arithmetic shortcuts, and may have other computational benefits as well. For example, an
arithmetic shiftIn computer programming, an arithmetic shift is a shift operator, sometimes known as a signed shift . For binary numbers it is a bitwise operation that shifts all of the bits of its operand; every bit in the operand is simply moved a given number of bit positions, and the vacant bitpositions are...
left of a binary number is the equivalent of multiplication by a (positive, integral) power of 2.
Decimal
To convert from a base10 integer numeral to its base2 (binary) equivalent, the number is
divided by twoIn mathematics, division by two or halving has also been called mediation or dimidiation. The treatment of this as a different operation from multiplication and division by other numbers goes back to the ancient Egyptians, whose multiplication algorithm used division by two as one of its...
, and the remainder is the leastsignificant bit. The (integer) result is again divided by two, its remainder is the next most significant bit. This process repeats until the result of further division becomes zero.
Conversion from base2 to base10 proceeds by applying the preceding algorithm, so to speak, in reverse. The bits of the binary number are used one by one, starting with the most significant (leftmost) bit. Beginning with the value 0, repeatedly double the prior value and add the next bit to produce the next value. This can be organized in a multicolumn table. For example to convert 10010101101
_{2} to decimal:
Prior value 
× 2 + 
Next Bit 
Next value 

0 
× 2 + 
1 
= 1 
1 
× 2 + 
0 
= 2 
2 
× 2 + 
0 
= 4 
4 
× 2 + 
1 
= 9 
9 
× 2 + 
0 
= 18 
18 
× 2 + 
1 
= 37 
37 
× 2 + 
0 
= 74 
74 
× 2 + 
1 
= 149 
149 
× 2 + 
1 
= 299 
299 
× 2 + 
0 
= 598 
598 
× 2 + 
1 
= 1197 
The result is 1197
_{10}. Note that the first Prior Value of 0 is simply an initial decimal value. This method is an application of the
Horner schemeIn numerical analysis, the Horner scheme , named after William George Horner, is an algorithm for the efficient evaluation of polynomials in monomial form. Horner's method describes a manual process by which one may approximate the roots of a polynomial equation...
.
Binary 
1 
0 
0 
1 
0 
1 
0 
1 
1 
0 
1 


Decimal 
1×2^{10} + 
0×2^{9} + 
0×2^{8} + 
1×2^{7} + 
0×2^{6} + 
1×2^{5} + 
0×2^{4} + 
1×2^{3} + 
1×2^{2} + 
0×2^{1} + 
1×2^{0} = 
1197 
The fractional parts of a number are converted with similar methods. They are again based on the equivalence of shifting with doubling or halving.
In a fractional binary number such as .11010110101
_{2}, the first digit is
, the second
, etc. So if there is a 1 in the first place after the decimal, then the number is at least
, and vice versa. Double that number is at least 1. This suggests the algorithm: Repeatedly double the number to be converted, record if the result is at least 1, and then throw away the integer part.
For example,
_{10}, in binary, is:
Converting  Result 


0. 

0.0 

0.01 

0.010 

0.0101 
Thus the repeating decimal fraction 0.... is equivalent to the repeating binary fraction 0.... .
Or for example, 0.1
_{10}, in binary, is:
Converting  Result 

0.1 
0. 
0.1 × 2 = 0.2 < 1 
0.0 
0.2 × 2 = 0.4 < 1 
0.00 
0.4 × 2 = 0.8 < 1 
0.000 
0.8 × 2 = 1.6 ≥ 1 
0.0001 
0.6 × 2 = 1.2 ≥ 1 
0.00011 
0.2 × 2 = 0.4 < 1 
0.000110 
0.4 × 2 = 0.8 < 1 
0.0001100 
0.8 × 2 = 1.6 ≥ 1 
0.00011001 
0.6 × 2 = 1.2 ≥ 1 
0.000110011 
0.2 × 2 = 0.4 < 1 
0.0001100110 
This is also a repeating binary fraction 0.0... . It may come as a surprise that terminating decimal fractions can have repeating expansions in binary. It is for this reason that many are surprised to discover that 0.1 + ... + 0.1, (10 additions) differs from 1 in floating point arithmetic. In fact, the only binary fractions with terminating expansions are of the form of an integer divided by a power of 2, which 1/10 is not.
The final conversion is from binary to decimal fractions. The only difficulty arises with repeating fractions, but otherwise the method is to shift the fraction to an integer, convert it as above, and then divide by the appropriate power of two in the decimal base. For example:

= 
1100 
.1... 

= 
1100101110 
.... 

= 
11001 
.... 

= 
1100010101 

= 
(789/62)_{10} 
Another way of converting from binary to decimal, often quicker for a person familiar with
hexadecimalIn mathematics and computer science, hexadecimal is a positional numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols 0–9 to represent values zero to nine, and A, B, C, D, E, F to represent values ten to fifteen...
, is to do so indirectly—first converting (
in binary) into (
in hexadecimal) and then converting (
in hexadecimal) into (
in decimal).
For very large numbers, these simple methods are inefficient because they perform a large number of multiplications or divisions where one operand is very large. A simple divideandconquer algorithm is more effective asymptotically: given a binary number, it is divided by 10
^{k}, where
k is chosen so that the quotient roughly equals the remainder; then each of these pieces is converted to decimal and the two are
concatenatedIn computer programming, string concatenation is the operation of joining two character strings endtoend. For example, the strings "snow" and "ball" may be concatenated to give "snowball"...
. Given a decimal number, it can be split into two pieces of about the same size, each of which is converted to binary, whereupon the first converted piece is multiplied by 10
^{k} and added to the second converted piece, where
k is the number of decimal digits in the second, leastsignificant piece before conversion.
Hexadecimal
Binary may be converted to and from hexadecimal somewhat more easily. This is because the
radixIn mathematical numeral systems, the base or radix for the simplest case is the number of unique digits, including zero, that a positional numeral system uses to represent numbers. For example, for the decimal system the radix is ten, because it uses the ten digits from 0 through 9.In any numeral...
of the hexadecimal system (16) is a power of the radix of the binary system (2). More specifically, 16 = 2
^{4}, so it takes four digits of binary to represent one digit of hexadecimal, as shown in the table to the right.
To convert a hexadecimal number into its binary equivalent, simply substitute the corresponding binary digits:
 3A_{16} = 0011 1010_{2}
 E7_{16} = 1110 0111_{2}
To convert a binary number into its hexadecimal equivalent, divide it into groups of four bits. If the number of bits isn't a multiple of four, simply insert extra
0 bits at the left (called padding). For example:
 1010010_{2} = 0101 0010 grouped with padding = 52_{16}
 11011101_{2} = 1101 1101 grouped = DD_{16}
To convert a hexadecimal number into its decimal equivalent, multiply the decimal equivalent of each hexadecimal digit by the corresponding power of 16 and add the resulting values:
 C0E7_{16} = (12 × 16^{3}) + (0 × 16^{2}) + (14 × 16^{1}) + (7 × 16^{0}) = (12 × 4096) + (0 × 256) + (14 × 16) + (7 × 1) = 49,383_{10}
Octal
Binary is also easily converted to the
octalThe octal numeral system, or oct for short, is the base8 number system, and uses the digits 0 to 7. Numerals can be made from binary numerals by grouping consecutive binary digits into groups of three...
numeral system, since octal uses a radix of 8, which is a
power of twoIn mathematics, a power of two means a number of the form 2n where n is an integer, i.e. the result of exponentiation with as base the number two and as exponent the integer n....
(namely, 2
^{3}, so it takes exactly three binary digits to represent an octal digit). The correspondence between octal and binary numerals is the same as for the first eight digits of
hexadecimalIn mathematics and computer science, hexadecimal is a positional numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols 0–9 to represent values zero to nine, and A, B, C, D, E, F to represent values ten to fifteen...
in the table above. Binary 000 is equivalent to the octal digit 0, binary 111 is equivalent to octal 7, and so forth.
Octal  Binary 

0 
000 
1 
001 
2 
010 
3 
011 
4 
100 
5 
101 
6 
110 
7 
111 
Converting from octal to binary proceeds in the same fashion as it does for
hexadecimalIn mathematics and computer science, hexadecimal is a positional numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols 0–9 to represent values zero to nine, and A, B, C, D, E, F to represent values ten to fifteen...
:
 65_{8} = 110 101_{2}
 17_{8} = 001 111_{2}
And from binary to octal:
 101100_{2} = 101 100_{2} grouped = 54_{8}
 10011_{2} = 010 011_{2} grouped with padding = 23_{8}
And from octal to decimal:
 65_{8} = (6 × 8^{1}) + (5 × 8^{0}) = (6 × 8) + (5 × 1) = 53_{10}
 127_{8} = (1 × 8^{2}) + (2 × 8^{1}) + (7 × 8^{0}) = (1 × 64) + (2 × 8) + (7 × 1) = 87_{10}
Representing real numbers
Nonintegers can be represented by using negative powers, which are set off from the other digits by means of a
radix pointIn mathematics and computing, a radix point is the symbol used in numerical representations to separate the integer part of a number from its fractional part . "Radix point" is a general term that applies to all number bases...
(called a decimal point in the decimal system). For example, the binary number 11.01
_{2} thus means:
1 × 2^{1} 
(1 × 2 = 2) 
plus 
1 × 2^{0} 
(1 × 1 = 1) 
plus 
0 × 2^{−1} 
(0 × ½ = 0) 
plus 
1 × 2^{−2} 
(1 × ¼ = 0.25) 
For a total of 3.25 decimal.
All dyadic rational numbers
have a
terminating binary numeral—the binary representation has a finite number of terms after the radix point. Other rational numbers have binary representation, but instead of terminating, they
recur, with a finite sequence of digits repeating indefinitely. For instance
=
= 0.01010101…
_{2}
=
= 0.10110100 10110100 ...
_{2}
The phenomenon that the binary representation of any rational is either terminating or recurring also occurs in other radixbased numeral systems. See, for instance, the explanation in
decimalThe decimal numeral system has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations....
. Another similarity is the existence of alternative representations for any terminating representation, relying on the fact that 0.111111… is the sum of the
geometric series 2
^{−1} + 2
^{−2} + 2
^{−3} + ... which is 1.
Binary numerals which neither terminate nor recur represent
irrational numberIn mathematics, an irrational number is any real number that cannot be expressed as a ratio a/b, where a and b are integers, with b nonzero, and is therefore not a rational number....
s. For instance,
 0.10100100010000100000100… does have a pattern, but it is not a fixedlength recurring pattern, so the number is irrational
 1.0110101000001001111001100110011111110… is the binary representation of , the square root
In mathematics, a square root of a number x is a number r such that r2 = x, or, in other words, a number r whose square is x...
of 2, another irrational. It has no discernible pattern. See irrational numberIn mathematics, an irrational number is any real number that cannot be expressed as a ratio a/b, where a and b are integers, with b nonzero, and is therefore not a rational number....
.
Online live converters and calculators
See also
 Binarycoded decimal
In computing and electronic systems, binarycoded decimal is a digital encoding method for numbers using decimal notation, with each decimal digit represented by its own binary sequence. In BCD, a numeral is usually represented by four bits which, in general, represent the decimal range 0 through 9...
 Finger binary
Finger binary is a system for counting and displaying binary numbers on the fingers and thumbs of one or more hands. It is possible to count from 0 to 31 using the fingers of a single hand, or from 0 through 1023 if both hands are used. Mechanics :In the binary number system, each numerical...
 Gray code
The reflected binary code, also known as Gray code after Frank Gray, is a binary numeral system where two successive values differ in only one bit. It is a nonweighted code....
 linear feedback shift register
A linear feedback shift register is a shift register whose input bit is a linear function of its previous state.The most commonly used linear function of single bits is XOR...
 Offset binary
Offset binary, also referred to as excessK, is a digital coding scheme where allzero corresponds to the minimal negative value and allone to the maximal positive value. There is no standard for offset binary, but most often the offset K for an nbit binary word is K=2^...
 Quibinary
 Reduction of summands
Reduction of summands is an algorithm for fast binary multiplication of nonsigned binary integers. It is performed in three steps: production of summands, reduction of summands, and summation.Production of summands:...
 Redundant binary representation
A redundant binary representation is a numeral system that uses more bits than needed to represent a single binary digit so that most numbers have several representations. A RBR is unlike usual binary numeral systems, including two's complement, which use a single bit for each digit. Many of a...
 SZTAKI Desktop Grid
SZTAKI Desktop Grid is a BOINC project located in Hungary run by the Computer and Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. History :...
searches for generalized binary number systems up to dimension 11.
 Two's complement
The two's complement of a binary number is defined as the value obtained by subtracting the number from a large power of two...
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