Boolean algebra

Shihab Uddin Ahmed | March 24, 2016


Boolean algebra is named after English mathematician George Boole who introduced this different type of algebra in his first book The Mathematical Analysis of Logic. It was the driving force in development of digital electronics. All modern programming languages use this algebra. It has application in other branches of mathematics also.

In ordinary algebra variables may have any values. But Variables of Boolean algebra can have only two possible values, i.e. 0 and 1. Variable values may change from 0 to 1 and 1 to zero. Usually these variables represent voltage level of input and output. Zero volt will mean 0 and 5 volt will mean 1. Actually even 2 volt may mean 1.

As Boolean algebra variables have only two values, it’s easier than ordinary algebra. There are no operations like imaginary numbers, roots, logarithms fractions and negative numbers. Boolean algebra works on three basic operations known as logic operations, AND, OR and NOT. I will discuss more on these later. One more thing, these operations can be done electronically by logic gates and logic gates can be made easily using transistors, diodes and resistors. These components are packed in IC. There are many types of ICs which performs various logic operations.

So Boolean algebra allows you to express circuit operations and design logic circuits.

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