Leibniz's Number System

Great Essays
Computers have all but replaced humans for doing complex calculations. But computers handle numbers much differently than humans do. At this point, the majority of people use base-10 for their math. The base of a number system refers to the number of number symbols used in that system. In base 10 the numbers used are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Humans use this system because it shortens numbers. Humans have 10 fingers so it is logical that base-10 counting systems developed naturally. But computers do not have the ability to deal with large bases. Because traditional computers use transistors and logic gates to operate, a number system representing the on-off states of transistors is required. This system is base-2, or binary, where all …show more content…
Leibniz worked frequently with binary. The hexagrams previously mentioned come from an ancient Chinese king and philosopher called Fu Xi, who is said to be the father of Chinese writing. Leibniz wanted to understand the writing system so that he could further his goal of creating a global scientific community (Ryan). Leibniz wrote to one of his Jesuit correspondents in China who immediately related the binary system Leibniz described to the works of Fu Xi. Discovering the binary system in the hexagrams that had been designed by the mythical father of the Chinese language reinforced Leibniz’s faith that there was underlying structure to the Chinese language. He also believed that the ancient Chinese’s wisdom was far more developed than the Chinese of his …show more content…
The simplicity of this system is essential to the operation of computers. Leibniz influenced several main disciplines of his time, but his contributions to math are what he is most well known for. Not many people know that he developed the binary system, but it is one of the more important developments for the existence of

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