What Are Binary Numbers? Part 1

How do binary numbers work? How do you count in binary? And how can you use binary numbers to quickly guess a number between 1 and 1,000? Keep on reading to find out!

Jason Marshall, PhD,
February 8, 2013
Episode #141

Page 3 of 3

What Are Bits?

As you can imagine, binary numbers can get very big (in the sense of how many symbols you have to write) very quickly. For example, the decimal number 1,626 is written ‘11001011010’ in binary. While that does make binary a little less convenient for our everyday use (and should make you really, really appreciate the decimal system!), it’s not such a big deal for computers where all of these binary digits—aka, bits—are the name of the game. Why exactly is it that computers use the binary system? Well, unfortunately we’re all out of time for today, so that story—as well as the answer to the number-guessing brain teaser that we started with—will have to wait until next time.

Wrap Up

Remember to become a fan of the Math Dude on Facebook where you’ll find lots of great math posted throughout the week. If you’re on Twitter, please follow me there, too. Finally, please send your math questions my way via Facebook, Twitter, or email at mathdude@quickanddirtytips.com.

Until next time, this is Jason Marshall with The Math Dude’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Make Math Easier. Thanks for reading, math fans!

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