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In the text proper, we saw how to convert the decimal number 14.75 to a binary representation. In this instance, we "eyeballed" the fractional

part of the binary expansion; 3/4 is obviously 1/2 + 1/4. While this worked for this particular example, we'll need a more systematic approach

for less obvious cases.

In fact, there is a simple, step-by-step method for computing the binary expansion on the right-hand side of the point. We will illustrate the

method by converting the decimal value .625 to a binary representation..

Step 1: Begin with the decimal fraction and multiply by 2. The whole number part of the result is the first binary digit to the right of the point.

Because .625 x 2 = 1.25, the first binary digit to the right of the point is a 1.

So far, we have .625 = .1??? . . . (base 2) .

Step 2: Next we disregard the whole number part of the previous result (the 1 in this case) and multiply by 2 once again. The whole number

part of this new result is the second binary digit to the right of the point. We will continue this process until we get a zero as our decimal part

or until we recognize an infinite repeating pattern.

Because .25 x 2 = 0.50, the second binary digit to the right of the point is a 0.

So far, we have .625 = .10?? . . . (base 2) .

Step 3: Disregarding the whole number part of the previous result (this result was .50 so there actually is no whole number part to disregard

in this case), we multiply by 2 once again. The whole number part of the result is now the next binary digit to the right of the point.

Because .50 x 2 = 1.00, the third binary digit to the right of the point is a 1.

So now we have .625 = .101?? . . . (base 2) .

Step 4: In fact, we do not need a Step 4. We are finished in Step 3, because we had 0 as the fractional part of our result there.

The method we just explored can be used to demonstrate how some decimal fractions will produce infinite binary fraction expansions. We

illustrate by using that method to see that the binary representation of the decimal fraction 1/10 is, in fact, infinite.

Step 1: Begin with the decimal fraction and multiply by 2. The whole number part of the result is the first binary digit to the right of the point.

Because .1 x 2 = 0.2, the first binary digit to the right of the point is a 0.

So far, we have .1 (decimal) = .0??? . . . (base 2) .

Step 2: Next we disregard the whole number part of the previous result (0 in this case) and multiply by 2 once again. The whole number part

of this new result is the second binary digit to the right of the point. We will continue this process until we get a zero as our decimal part or

until we recognize an infinite repeating pattern.

Because .2 x 2 = 0.4, the second binary digit to the right of the point is also a 0.

So far, we have .1 (decimal) = .00?? . . . (base 2) .

Step 3: Disregarding the whole number part of the previous result (again a 0), we multiply by 2 once again. The whole number part of the

result is now the next binary digit to the right of the point.

Because .4 x 2 = 0.8, the third binary digit to the right of the point is also a 0.

So now we have .1 (decimal) = .000?? . . . (base 2) .

Step 4: We multiply by 2 once again, disregarding the whole number part of the previous result (again a 0 in this case).

Because .8 x 2 = 1.6, the fourth binary digit to the right of the point is a 1.

So now we have .1 (decimal) = .0001?? . . . (base 2) .

Step 5: We multiply by 2 once again, disregarding the whole number part of the previous result (a 1 in this case).

Because .6 x 2 = 1.2, the fifth binary digit to the right of the point is a 1.

So now we have .1 (decimal) = .00011?? . . . (base 2) .

Step 6: We multiply by 2 once again, disregarding the whole number part of the previous result. Let's make an important observation here.

1 of 2 2010/11/13 12:22 PM

Converting Decimal Fractions to Binary http://cs.furman.edu/digitaldomain/more/ch6/dec_frac_to_bin.htm

Notice that this next step to be performed (multiply 2. x 2) is exactly the same action we had in step 2. We are then bound to repeat steps

2-5, then return to Step 2 again indefinitely. In other words, we will never get a 0 as the decimal fraction part of our result. Instead we will

just cycle through steps 2-5 forever. This means we will obtain the sequence of digits generated in steps 2-5, namely 0011, over and over.

Hence, the final binary representation will be.

2 of 2 2010/11/13 12:22 PM

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