# What is Binary?

Have you ever wondered how computers understand information? They speak a special language called binary, which is like a secret code. Let’s dive in and explore what binary is and why it’s so important!

#### Understanding Binary

Binary is a way of representing information using only two symbols: 0 and 1. Think of it like a light switch that can only be in one of two states: on or off. In binary, these states are represented by 1 (on) and 0 (off).

#### How Does Binary Work?

Imagine you have a bunch of switches. Each switch can be either on (1) or off (0). By arranging these switches in different patterns, you can create different combinations. These combinations represent different pieces of information.

For example:

• The binary number 0 is simply 0.
• The binary number 1 is just 1.
• The binary number 10 means you have one switch off and one switch on.
• The binary number 101 means you have three switches: off, on, off.

#### Why Do Computers Use Binary?

Computers use binary because it’s simple and reliable. Each tiny part inside a computer, called a transistor, can be either on or off. By combining millions and millions of these on and off states, computers can perform all sorts of tasks.

#### Converting Binary to Decimal

We usually count using the decimal system, which has ten digits (0 to 9). Binary is different because it only has two digits (0 and 1). To understand how binary numbers relate to our regular numbers, we can convert them.

For example, the binary number 101 can be converted to decimal like this:

• The rightmost 1 is in the 1s place, so it counts as 1.
• The middle 0 is in the 2s place, so it counts as 0.
• The leftmost 1 is in the 4s place, so it counts as 4.

Adding these up (4 + 0 + 1) gives us 5 in decimal. So, the binary number 101 equals the decimal number 5.