decimal system

Typically when we think of counting on two hands, we count up to 10, but fingers can contain much more information than that! This video shows how to think about counting in binary.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9... and 0. With just these ten symbols, we can write any rational number imaginable. But why these particular symbols? Why ten of them? And why do we arrange them the way we do? Alessandra King gives a brief history of numerical systems.

How high can you count on your fingers? It seems like a question with an obvious answer. After all, most of us have ten fingers -- or to be more precise, eight fingers and two thumbs. This gives us a total of ten digits on our two hands, which we use to count to ten. But is that really as high as we can go? James Tanton investigates. 

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