# The Logic of a Loop

In this lesson, we will introduce the general logic of a loop.

We'll cover the following

## What is iteration?

The ability to repeat tasks rapidly is one of the keys to the power of computing. Whenever we are searching the web, playing video games, or using a bank ATM, we are experiencing the effects of this repetition. In Java, we can repeat a group of statements by using a controlling statement in a process known as iteration. A completely different approach to repetition is called recursion, which we will see in the sequel to this course.

## What is a loop?

We use one of three different statements to control the repetition of a group of statements. The controlling statement and the repeated group of statements together are called a loop. This chapter will look at one way to control a loop, and the next chapter will consider two others.

We can discuss the logic of a loop without knowing the syntax of the Java statements that control it. Typically, we consider four steps when we think of a loop, as the figure given below illustrates. The first step involves getting ready to repeat a group of statements. We might initialize a counter or a condition that affects the number of times the statements will repeat or iterate. We might also initialize certain parts of a computation that will be repeated during the loop. This initialization step is performed once.

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