The binary numeral system, or base-2 number system, represents numeric values using two symbols: 0 and 1. More specifically, the usual base-2 system is a positional notation with a radix of 2. Because of its straightforward implementation in digital electronic circuitry using logic gates, the binary system is used internally by almost all modern computers. The Indian scholar Pingala (around 5th_2nd centuries BC) developed mathematical concepts for describing prosody, and in doing so presented the first known description of a binary numeral system. He used binary numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter equal in length to two short syllables), making it similar to Morse code. Pingala's Hindu classic titled Chanda_sastra (8.23) describes the formation of a matrix in order to give a unique value to each meter.
Contributions by Wapcaplet, 18.104.22.168, and R. S. Shaw.