Binary is a base-2 number system representing numbers using a pattern of ones and zeroes.

First invented by Gottfried Leibniz in the 17th century, the binary number system became widely used once computers required a way to represent numbers using mechanical switches.

Binary is a base-2 number system representing numbers using a pattern of ones and zeroes.

Early computer systems had mechanical switches that turned on to represent 1, and turned off to represent 0. By using switches in series, computers could represent numbers using binary code. Modern computers still use binary code in the form of digital ones and zeroes inside the CPU and RAM.

Binary numbers consist of a series of eight "bits," which are known as a "byte." A bit is a single one or zero that makes up the 8 bit binary number. Using ASCII codes, binary numbers can also be translated into text characters for storing information in computer memory.

Converting a binary number into a decimal number is very simple when you consider that computers use a base 2 binary system. The placement of each binary digit determines its decimal value. For an 8-bit binary number, the values are calculated as follows:

**Bit 1**: 2 to the power of 0 = 1**Bit 2**: 2 to the power of 1 = 2**Bit 3**: 2 to the power of 2 = 4**Bit 4**: 2 to the power of 3 = 8**Bit 5**: 2 to the power of 4 = 16**Bit 6**:**Bit 7**: 2 to the power of 6 = 64**Bit 8**: 2 to the power of 7 = 128

By adding together individual values where the bit has a one, you can represent any decimal number from 0 to 255. Much larger numbers can be represented by adding more bits to the system.

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