Have you ever wondered how computers and calculators—both of which are nothing more than mindless boxes of plastic, wires, and other strange parts—manage to add numbers? And so quickly! Math Dude has the second part of the story.
After weeks of learning about binary numbers, Boolean algebra, and the math that makes the tiny electronic components known as logic gates tick, we’re finally ready to begin tackling the big questions we’ve been working towards: How do computers and calculators add? And how do they do it so quickly? I’m happy to say that those are exactly the questions we’ll be answering today..
Review: Logic Gates
As we talked about last time, the key to building machines that can add are something called logic gates. These tiny electronic components perform Boolean operations on one or more input bits and spit out a binary output bit as the result. So far we’ve learned about three fundamental logic gates that implement the AND, OR, and NOT operations of Boolean algebra. But are there others? In particular, are there any other logic gates that are useful for building machines that can add?