# binary system

**binary system** Usually, the binary number system, i.e. the positional number system with base 2. This is the number system most commonly used in computers. A *binary digit* (or *bit*) is either 0 or 1. The representation of numbers by binary digits is called *binary notation*.

The term binary system is also used to describe any system in which there are just two possible states. For example, each of the elements comprising the memory of any computer is a binary system, one of whose states is used to denote the binary digit 0 and the other to denote the binary digit 1. It is customary to refer to such a storage element, or to the unit of information in any binary system, as a *bit*.

# binary system

bi·na·ry sys·tem •
n. 1. a system in which information can be expressed by combinations of the digits 0 and 1.2. a system consisting of two parts: *the binary system of state and public schools.* ∎ Astron. a star system containing two stars orbiting around each other.

# binary system

**binary system** In mathematics, number system having a base of 2 (the decimal system has a base of 10). It is most appropriate to computers since it is simple and corresponds to the open (0), and closed (1) states of switch, or logic gate, on which computers are based.

# binary system

**binary system** **1.** Chemical system of two components, e.g. MgO—SiO_{2}.

**2.** See STAR PAIR.

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