Today’s word is Base

To a mathematician I’m transported back to my classroom.

Here are 100 additions.  All of them are correct; what’s the ‘trick’?

1 + 1 = 10

11 + 10 = 101

1 + 1 + 1 = 11

101 + 110 = 1011

So, what’s the trick?  I’m using binary or base 2.  Us humans use base 10; probably because we have ten fingers. Computers  use base 2; because they use electricity which can be on (1) or off (0)

In base 10 the place values are

… thousands  hundreds  tens units

Each place is worth 10 times the one before. A hundred is 10 squared, a thousand is 10 cubed and so on…

in base 2 the place values are

… eight four two units.

Each place is worth 2 times the one before.  Four is 2 squared, eight is 2 cubed and so on…

100 questions is 4 in base 2.  Check the questions to see if you get the idea.

There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don’t.


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