# What the mathematical XOR function is

1. Jun 6, 2003

### qwpoi

Would someone explain to me what the mathematical XOR function is? I came across it while reading a book on cryptography, and the explanation that is in the book doesn't really help me in fully understanding the function.

Much thanks,

-Betsy

Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2013
2. Jun 6, 2003

### Greg Bernhardt

One of the logic gates

AND | OR | XOR | NOT | NAND | NOR | XNOR

The XOR gate acts in the same way as the logical "either/or." The output is "true" if either, but not both, of the inputs are "true." The output is "false" if both inputs are "false" or if both inputs are "true."

3. Jun 6, 2003

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Let me add a bit to what Gregg has said.

The eXclusive OR function differs from the OR gate when both inputs are true.

Think of a regular OR gate as 2 switches connceted to a light in parallel, in this configuration either or both switchs will turn the light on.

If the switches could be wired as an eXclusive OR gate when both switchs are on the light will not be turned on.

4. Jun 6, 2003

### qwpoi

Cool, thanks.