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Binary numbers

system digits decimal successive

Binary numbers, system of designating numbers using only the digits 0 and 1, widely employed in digital computers. Each digit in the binary system represents a successive power of 2, just as digits in the decimal system represent successive powers of 10. For example, in the binary system, the number 110 represents: (1 × 22) + (1 × 21) + (0 × 20), which equals (in the decimal system) 4 + 2 + 0, or 6. While this system may appear cumbersome, it is easily adaptable to electronic circuits, where the 2 digits (0 and 1) can be represented by the 2 states of a switch: open or closed.

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