A bit (a contraction of binary digit) is the basic capacity of information in computing and telecommu nications; a bit represents either 1 or 0 (one or zero) only. The representation may be implemented, in a variety of systems, by means of a two state device. In computing, a bit can be defined as a variable or computed quantity that can have only two possible values. These two values are often interpreted as binary digits and are usually denoted by the numerical digits 0 and 1. The two values can also be interpreted as logical values (true/false, yes/no), algebraic signs (+/−), activ ation states (on/off), or any other two-valued attribute. The correspondence between these values and the physical states of the underlying storage or device is a matter of convention, and different assignments may be used even within the same device or program. The length of a binary number may be referred to as its "bit-length."
The encoding of data by discrete bits was used in the punched cards invented by Basile Bouchon and Jean-Baptiste Falcon (1732), developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard (1804), and later adopted by Semen Korsakov, Charles Babbage, Hermann Hollerith, and early computer manufacturers like IBM. Another variant of that idea was the perforated paper tape. In all those systems, the medium (card or tape) conceptually carried an array of hole positions; each position could be either punched through or not, thus carrying one bit of information. The encoding of text by bits was also used in Morse code (1844) and early digital communications machines such as teletypes and stock ticker machines (1870). Ralph Hartley suggested the use of a logarithmic measure of information in 1928. Claude E. Shannon first used the word bit in his seminal 1948 paper A Mathematical Theory of Communication. He attributed its origin to John W. Tukey, who had written a Bell Labs memo on 9 January 1947 in which he contracted "binary digit" to simply "bit". Interestingly, Vannevar Bushhad written in 1936 of "bits of information" that could be stored on the punched cards used in the mechanical computers of that time. The first programmable computer built by Konrad Zuse used binary notation for numbers.
Thebinary numeral system, or base-2 number system, represents numeric values using two symbols: 0 and 1. More specifically, the usual base-2system is a positional notation with a radix of 2. Because of its straightforward implementation in digital electronic circuitry using logic gates, the binary system is used internally by almost all modern computers.
The Indian scholar Pingala (around 5th– 2nd centuries BC) developed mathematical concepts for describing prosody, and in doing so presented the first known description of a binary numeral system. He used binary numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter equal in length to two short syllables), making it similar to Morse code. Pingalas Hindu classic titled Chandaḥśāstra (8.23) describes the formation of a matrix in order to give a unique value to each meter.
In 1605 Francis Bacon discussed a system whereby letters of the alphabet could be reduced to sequences of binary digits, which could then be encoded as scarcely visible variations in the font in any random text. Importantly for the general theory of binary encoding, he added that this method could be used with any objects at all: "provided those objects be capable of a twofold difference only; as by Bells, by Trumpets, by Lights and Torches, by the report of Muskets, and any instruments of like nature". The modern binary number system was studied by Gottfried Leibniz in 1679. See his article:Explication de lArithmétique Binaire(1703). Leibnizs system uses 0 and 1, like the modern binary numeral system. As a Sinophile, Leibniz was aware of the I Ching and noted with fascination how its hexagrams correspond to the binary numbers from 0 to 111111, and concluded that this mapping was evidence of major Chinese accomplishments in the sort of philosophical mathematics he admired.
The I Ching book consists of 64 hexagrams.  A hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines (爻 yáo), where each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line), or Yin (broken, an open line with a gap in the center). The hexagram lines are traditionally counted from the bottom up, so the lowest line is considered line 1 while the top line is line 6. Hexagrams are formed by combining the original eight trigrams in different combinations. Each hexagram is accompanied with a description, often cryptic, akin to parables. Each line in every hexagram is also given a similar description