Bit Operations

You'll learn about the different bit operators present in Python in this lesson.

Bit operators overview

The following bit operators may be applied to integers.

Bit Operator Description
~ Bitwise complement
& Bitwise and
| Bitwise or
^ Bitwise exclusive or
<< Left shift
>> Right shift

In case you are unfamiliar with these operators, each number is used in its binary notation, with 0 consisting of all zero bits, and -1 consisting of all one bits.

Bitwise complement (~)

Bitwise complement changes every 1 to a 0 and every 0 to a 1. Numerically, the result is the same as changing the sign of the number and then subtracting 1.

For example, in the following example, when the ~ operator is applied on the integer 50, we get -51.This is because the bitwise complement first changes the sign of 50, making it negative, and then subtracts 1 from it, adding the two negative integers together to give -51.

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