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# Why do Computers even use Binary?

## ๐ Abstract

The article discusses why computers use the binary number system, which represents information using only two digits (0 and 1). It explains the advantages of binary over other number systems, such as simplicity, lower power consumption, and reduced heat generation.

## ๐ Q&A

### [01] What is a data scientist's primary tool of the trade?

- A data scientist's primary tool of the trade is a computer, as it can process data much faster than a human can with pencil and paper.
- The article states that data science would not exist today without computers.

**2. Why is it important for data scientists to understand how computers work?**

- It is important for data scientists to understand how computers work because it is difficult to do a job well without understanding the tools used to perform that job.
- The article notes that it is easy for aspiring data scientists to neglect building foundational knowledge about the theoretical aspects of the field, such as mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

**3. Why do computers use the binary number system?**

- Computers use the binary number system because it is simpler and requires fewer physical components to represent only two states (0 or 1) compared to other number systems.
- The article explains that digital systems like computers operate using discrete representations of numbers, and it is easier to build a system that uses a continuous value (voltage) to represent a digital system with only two states.
- Using a higher-than-base-2 number system would require more hardware components, increasing power consumption and heat generation, which are undesirable for computer systems.

### [02] How do computers represent information using binary?

- The article explains that computers represent binary numbers as a sum of powers of 2, similar to how decimal numbers can be represented as a sum of powers of 10.
- For example, the binary number 0b1101 can be represented as (1 ร 2^3) + (1 ร 2^2) + (0 ร 2^1) + (1 ร 2^0) = 13 in decimal.

**2. What are the key reasons why computers use binary instead of other number systems?**

- Simplicity: Binary systems are simpler and require fewer physical components to represent only two states (0 or 1).
- Power consumption: Using a higher-than-base-2 number system would increase the number of logic states, leading to exponentially higher power consumption.
- Heat generation: More components and higher power consumption would result in increased heat generation, which is undesirable for electronic devices.

**3. What will the next article cover?**

- The next article will explore how computers actually represent and compute information using digital logic circuits, starting from the lowest level of semiconductors.

Shared by Daniel Chen ยท

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