# Binary

Wikimedia disambiguation page

Binary is base 2 number system. It is base 2 because it uses two possible numbers: 0 and 1. Decimal, the system most of the world uses for daily life, is a base 10 system – it uses 10 characters (0–9). When binary numbers are written, a subscript "(2)" is added to distinguish them from the same number in base 10.

Computers work in binary, because wires can store information in two different ways: by being powered, or not being powered. Sets of binary numbers can be used to represent any information, such as text, audio, or video.

## Number system

When being introduced to binary numbers, it helps to go back and think about how base 10 or decimal numbers work. Consider the number 1101(10) (base 10). We identify this number as one-thousand, one-hundred, one because it has a 1 in the thousands place, a 1 in the hundreds place, and a 1 in the ones place. But since the places represent 8, 4, 2, and 1 in binary, instead of 1000, 100, 10, and 1, the value converted to decimal (base 10) would be 8 + 4 + 1 = 13(10).