I am studying psychology and have always been awful at maths (I think it's because I don't have much working memory), I am coming at this as a complete beginner. It is relevant to the Information Processing model of psychology.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

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The book says: Imagine you throw a coin once.. once it lands you have 1 bit of information. There are two (2) possible results

[log_{2}(2)] = 1 bit

If you throw a coin twice you have two bits of info, there are four possible results (xx,++,+x,x+) (I don't know why they mention the possible results, is that relevant?)

[log_{2}(4)] = 2 bits

Am I right in thinking the 4 in that equation corresponds to the four possible results?

The examples in the book end there, and I have been trying to expand it to check that I understand.

[log_{2}(8)] = how many bits? I guess that question means "How many binary digits do you need to represent 8?" There are 256 possible results.. is that relevant?

[log2(8)]=3 bits if we were talking about coin tosses, and 4 bits on a computer because for some reason they always add one. Am I right?

In a computer

zero= 0

one = 1

two = 10

three = 11

four = 100

Why isn't 01 four?

Here I will guess

five = 101

six = 110

seven =111

eight = 1000

log base 2 of 8 is 3 so why do I need 8 digits to represent 8? Why can't I use 011?

A friend suggested that the computer would see 01 as being the same as 10. I am imagining a cent and a euro, they aren't the same coin so a tails with one is not the same as a tails with the other, they aren't interchangeable.. but I would have thought the same went for computer transistors? That is what 1 and 0 represent for computers, right? on and off switches?

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Thanks for any help you can give. I have googled it, but all the tutorials I find impart all the information relevant for IT then very quickly go into more advanced things like bytes etc. and don't deal in detail with the basic concept.

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# Binary, base 2, bits, and coin flips

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