Binary Number System and Its Representation

What is the binary number system?

Another number system that became famous after the decimal is the binary number system, which has only two digits, 0 and 1.

If a number system has n digits, we say that the base of the number system is n. So the binary number system can also be called the base-2 number system.

Why does a computer understand binary?

The simplest explanation would be that a computer is an electrical device, and all electrical devices understand electrical signals, which have only two states.

For example:

If we have an input wire to this machine, there are only two possible states for this wire: either the current is flowing through this wire, or it is not flowing through this wire. If the current is flowing, we say that the state of this wire is signaled. And we say that the signal state corresponds to 1.

If the current is not flowing, it is not signaled. The not signal state corresponds to 0. So, 1 and 0, in binary, translate to a signal or non-signal in an electrical device, and we can have multiple wires or multiple inputs to represent multiple ones and zeros.

Create a free account to view this lesson.

By signing up, you agree to Educative's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy