binary number system
  • A numbering system whose base is 2, meaning that there are two digits, namely 0 and 1. All values expressed are composed of combinations of zeroes and ones. For instance, the numeral 85 in the decimal, or base 10, system is expressed as 1010101 in the binary system. Since the only two possible values are 0 and 1, this number system lends itself to unequivocally distinguishing between two states. For instance, on or off, yes or no, true or false, current or no current, high voltage or low voltage, and so on. All information, numbers or otherwise, entered into a digital computer is converted into these digits, as all processing is based on this system. Also known as binary (2).

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