Representing Numbers and Letters with Binary: Crash Course Computer Science #4 | Summary and Q&A

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March 15, 2017
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Representing Numbers and Letters with Binary: Crash Course Computer Science #4

TL;DR

Computers use binary digits (bits) to represent numerical data, with larger numbers requiring more binary digits; there are different sizes of binary numbers, such as 8-bit and 64-bit, which determine their range and precision; computers also use numbers to represent text, with ASCII and Unicode being widely used standards.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do computers represent larger numbers using binary digits?

Computers represent larger numbers by adding more binary digits, similar to how decimal numbers add more digits to represent larger values. Each binary digit has a multiplier associated with it, and by adding them together, the computer can represent larger numbers.

Q: What is the significance of different sizes of binary numbers, such as 8-bit and 64-bit?

Different sizes of binary numbers determine their range and precision. Smaller sizes, like 8-bit numbers, have a more limited range and can represent fewer values, while larger sizes, like 64-bit numbers, have a much larger range and can represent a greater number of values with higher precision.

Q: What is the difference between ASCII and Unicode?

ASCII is a 7-bit code that was primarily designed for English, while Unicode is a more universal encoding scheme that uses 16 bits and can represent characters from all languages and scripts. Unicode has a much larger range and can accommodate a greater number of characters compared to ASCII.

Q: How do computers represent text using numbers?

Computers represent text using numbers by assigning numerical codes to different characters. ASCII and Unicode are widely used standards that define the mapping of characters to numerical codes. By using these numerical codes, computers can store and manipulate text data.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Binary digits (1s and 0s) are used by computers to represent numerical data.

  • Different sizes of binary numbers, such as 8-bit and 64-bit, determine their range and precision.

  • Computers use numbers to represent text, with ASCII and Unicode being widely used standards.

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