What is Boolean Algebra?
Boolean algebra is a type of mathematical operation that, unlike regular algebra, works with binary digits (bits): 0 and 1. While 1 is true, 0 is false. Computers can perform simple to extremely complex operations using Boolean algebra. Boolean algebra and Boolean operations are the basis of computer logic.
Unlike traditional mathematical operations - addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication - the operations in Boolean algebra are different and limited in number. There are three operations: NOT, AND and OR. The NOT operation returns the opposite of the value that is provided to it. For example, 1 is the opposite of 0 and vice versa. So there are only two results of the operation. Both the AND and OR operations take two digits and return 0 or 1 depending on the inputs. The AND operation returns 1 in the event that both inputs are equal to 1. Otherwise it returns 0. The OR operation only returns 1 if one of the values assigned to it is 1. Otherwise it returns 0.
Boole's algebra was named after George Boole, a mathematician who first described it in 1847.