Learnearn.uk » IB Computer Science » Introduction to Binary

# Introduction to Binary

## What is binary?

### What is binary?

Binary is a number system consisting of combinations of only 2 possible numbers 1 and 0. These ones and zeros are used to represent all data within computer systems.

Binary can be used to represent a variety of different forms of data, including:

• Denary Numbers (for example the number 13 can be represented using 1101)
• Text (for example the letter x can be represented using 01111000 )
• Images( for example the color green be represented in binary as 000000001111111100000000)
• Sound
• Video (which is a combination of images and sound

## Why is it used?

### Why is binary used?

• Binary data can be transmitted more easily and reliably than in other forms.
• Binary data can be stored and read very easily and reliably in binary form.
• Computers use electrical circuits that can only be on one of 2 states – on or off, these work very well with binary calculations.
• The input voltage in to computers is not very stable, so only a system that use voltage/no voltage would be reliable.

## Video

### Video – Why do computers use binary?

YouTube blocked at school? Watch the Google Drive version instead.

## Key Terminology

### Key Terminology

• An individual binary digit is known as a bit
• 4 bits together are known as a nibble
• 8 bits are known as a byte
• While computers store, process and transmit data in binary form, human engineers normally view and edit the binary data using its hexadecimal equivalent.
• Human beings normally used the base 10 number system, known as Denary or Decimal.