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Binary Notation PORTABLE

A binary number is a number expressed in the base-2 numeral system or binary numeral system, a method of mathematical expression which uses only two symbols: typically "0" (zero) and "1" (one).

binary notation

The base-2 numeral system is a positional notation with a radix of 2. Each digit is referred to as a bit, or binary digit. Because of its straightforward implementation in digital electronic circuitry using logic gates, the binary system is used by almost all modern computers and computer-based devices, as a preferred system of use, over various other human techniques of communication, because of the simplicity of the language and the noise immunity in physical implementation.[1]

The modern binary number system was studied in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries by Thomas Harriot, Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, and Gottfried Leibniz. However, systems related to binary numbers have appeared earlier in multiple cultures including ancient Egypt, China, and India. Leibniz was specifically inspired by the Chinese I Ching.

The scribes of ancient Egypt used two different systems for their fractions, Egyptian fractions (not related to the binary number system) and Horus-Eye fractions (so called because many historians of mathematics believe that the symbols used for this system could be arranged to form the eye of Horus, although this has been disputed).[2] Horus-Eye fractions are a binary numbering system for fractional quantities of grain, liquids, or other measures, in which a fraction of a hekat is expressed as a sum of the binary fractions 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64. Early forms of this system can be found in documents from the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, approximately 2400 BC, and its fully developed hieroglyphic form dates to the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, approximately 1200 BC.[3]

The method used for ancient Egyptian multiplication is also closely related to binary numbers. In this method, multiplying one number by a second is performed by a sequence of steps in which a value (initially the first of the two numbers) is either doubled or has the first number added back into it; the order in which these steps are to be performed is given by the binary representation of the second number. This method can be seen in use, for instance, in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, which dates to around 1650 BC.[4]

It is based on taoistic duality of yin and yang.[7] Eight trigrams (Bagua) and a set of 64 hexagrams ("sixty-four" gua), analogous to the three-bit and six-bit binary numerals, were in use at least as early as the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China.[5]

The Indian scholar Pingala (c. 2nd century BC) developed a binary system for describing prosody.[10][11] He used binary numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter equal in length to two short syllables), making it similar to Morse code.[12][13] They were known as laghu (light) and guru (heavy) syllables.

Pingala's Hindu classic titled Chandaḥśāstra (8.23) describes the formation of a matrix in order to give a unique value to each meter. "Chandaḥśāstra" literally translates to science of meters in Sanskrit. The binary representations in Pingala's system increases towards the right, and not to the left like in the binary numbers of the modern positional notation.[12][14] In Pingala's system, the numbers start from number one, and not zero. Four short syllables "0000" is the first pattern and corresponds to the value one. The numerical value is obtained by adding one to the sum of place values.[15]

The residents of the island of Mangareva in French Polynesia were using a hybrid binary-decimal system before 1450.[16] Slit drums with binary tones are used to encode messages across Africa and Asia.[7]Sets of binary combinations similar to the I Ching have also been used in traditional African divination systems such as Ifá as well as in medieval Western geomancy. The majority of Indigenous Australian languages use a base-2 system.[17]

In the late 13th century Ramon Llull had the ambition to account for all wisdom in every branch of human knowledge of the time. For that purpose he developed a general method or 'Ars generalis' based on binary combinations of a number of simple basic principles or categories, for which he has been considered a predecessor of computing science and artificial intelligence.[18]

In 1605 Francis Bacon discussed a system whereby letters of the alphabet could be reduced to sequences of binary digits, which could then be encoded as scarcely visible variations in the font in any random text.[19] Importantly for the general theory of binary encoding, he added that this method could be used with any objects at all: "provided those objects be capable of a twofold difference only; as by Bells, by Trumpets, by Lights and Torches, by the report of Muskets, and any instruments of like nature".[19] (See Bacon's cipher.)

John Napier in 1617 described a system he called location arithmetic for doing binary calculations using a non-positional representation by letters.Thomas Harriot investigated several positional numbering systems, including binary, but did not publish his results; they were found later among his papers.[20]Possibly the first publication of the system in Europe was by Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, in 1700.[21]

Leibniz studied binary numbering in 1679; his work appears in his article Explication de l'Arithmétique Binaire (published in 1703).The full title of Leibniz's article is translated into English as the "Explanation of Binary Arithmetic, which uses only the characters 1 and 0, with some remarks on its usefulness, and on the light it throws on the ancient Chinese figures of Fu Xi".[22] Leibniz's system uses 0 and 1, like the modern binary numeral system. An example of Leibniz's binary numeral system is as follows:[22]

Leibniz interpreted the hexagrams of the I Ching as evidence of binary calculus.[23]As a Sinophile, Leibniz was aware of the I Ching, noted with fascination how its hexagrams correspond to the binary numbers from 0 to 111111, and concluded that this mapping was evidence of major Chinese accomplishments in the sort of philosophical mathematics he admired. The relation was a central idea to his universal concept of a language or characteristica universalis, a popular idea that would be followed closely by his successors such as Gottlob Frege and George Boole in forming modern symbolic logic.[24]Leibniz was first introduced to the I Ching through his contact with the French Jesuit Joachim Bouvet, who visited China in 1685 as a missionary. Leibniz saw the I Ching hexagrams as an affirmation of the universality of his own religious beliefs as a Christian.[23] Binary numerals were central to Leibniz's theology. He believed that binary numbers were symbolic of the Christian idea of creatio ex nihilo or creation out of nothing.[25]

In 1937, Claude Shannon produced his master's thesis at MIT that implemented Boolean algebra and binary arithmetic using electronic relays and switches for the first time in history. Entitled A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, Shannon's thesis essentially founded practical digital circuit design.[27]

In November 1937, George Stibitz, then working at Bell Labs, completed a relay-based computer he dubbed the "Model K" (for "Kitchen", where he had assembled it), which calculated using binary addition.[28] Bell Labs authorized a full research program in late 1938 with Stibitz at the helm. Their Complex Number Computer, completed 8 January 1940, was able to calculate complex numbers. In a demonstration to the American Mathematical Society conference at Dartmouth College on 11 September 1940, Stibitz was able to send the Complex Number Calculator remote commands over telephone lines by a teletype. It was the first computing machine ever used remotely over a phone line. Some participants of the conference who witnessed the demonstration were John von Neumann, John Mauchly and Norbert Wiener, who wrote about it in his memoirs.[29][30][31]

Any number can be represented by a sequence of bits (binary digits), which in turn may be represented by any mechanism capable of being in two mutually exclusive states. Any of the following rows of symbols can be interpreted as the binary numeric value of 667:

The numeric value represented in each case is dependent upon the value assigned to each symbol. In the earlier days of computing, switches, punched holes and punched paper tapes were used to represent binary values.[33] In a modern computer, the numeric values may be represented by two different voltages; on a magnetic disk, magnetic polarities may be used. A "positive", "yes", or "on" state is not necessarily equivalent to the numerical value of one; it depends on the architecture in use.

In keeping with customary representation of numerals using Arabic numerals, binary numbers are commonly written using the symbols 0 and 1. When written, binary numerals are often subscripted, prefixed or suffixed in order to indicate their base, or radix. The following notations are equivalent:

When spoken, binary numerals are usually read digit-by-digit, in order to distinguish them from decimal numerals. For example, the binary numeral 100 is pronounced one zero zero, rather than one hundred, to make its binary nature explicit, and for purposes of correctness. Since the binary numeral 100 represents the value four, it would be confusing to refer to the numeral as one hundred (a word that represents a completely different value, or amount). Alternatively, the binary numeral 100 can be read out as "four" (the correct value), but this does not make its binary nature explicit.

Counting in binary is similar to counting in any other number system. Beginning with a single digit, counting proceeds through each symbol, in increasing order. Before examining binary counting, it is useful to briefly discuss the more familiar decimal counting system as a frame of reference. 041b061a72


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