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A Level Computer Science: Binary

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All Computer Science topics are covered, and each module comes complete with:

Classroom Presentations

Revision Notes

Activities & Quizzes

Mind Maps, Flashcards & Glossaries

### Frequently Asked Questions

#### What is binary in computer science?

Binary refers to a base-2 number system used in digital technology. It uses only two numbers, 0 and 1, to represent all possible values. This system is foundational in computer science because computers use electrical signals, which have two states: ON and OFF, typically represented by the binary digits 1 and 0.

#### What are binary shifts and bitwise operations?

Binary shifts are operations where all bits in a binary number are moved a certain number of places to the left or right, effectively multiplying or dividing the number by 2 for each shift. Bitwise operations involve manipulation of individual bits within binary numbers. The common bitwise operations include AND, OR, XOR, NOT, SHIFT LEFT, and SHIFT RIGHT.

#### How are negative numbers represented in a binary system?

Negative numbers are typically represented in binary using a method known as "two's complement". In this system, the left-most bit is used to represent the sign of the number (0 for positive and 1 for negative), and the remaining bits represent the magnitude of the number.

#### What is the role of binary in modern computing?

Binary is the fundamental language of computers. All data stored and processed by a computer, from simple text files to complex graphics and multimedia, are ultimately represented in binary. The binary system also forms the basis of computer logic circuits, memory addressing, network communications, and more.

#### What are binary overflow and underflow in computer science?

Binary overflow and underflow are types of arithmetic errors that occur when the result of an operation is outside the range that can be represented with a given number of bits. Overflow occurs when the result is too large to be represented, while underflow occurs when the result is too small (close to zero). These situations can lead to unexpected results and bugs in computer programs.