Hexadecimal

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In mathematics and computer science, hexadecimal (also base 16, or hex) is a positional numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols 09 to represent values zero to nine, and A, B, C, D, E, F (or alternatively a to f) to represent values ten to fifteen. For example, the hexadecimal number 2AF3 is equal, in decimal, to (2 × 163) + (10 × 162) + (15 × 161) + (3 × 160) , or 10,995.

Each hexadecimal digit represents four binary digits (bits) (also called a "nibble"), and the primary use of hexadecimal notation is as a human-friendly representation of binary coded values in computing and digital electronics. For example, byte values can range from 0 to 255 (decimal) but may be more conveniently represented as two hexadecimal digits in the range 00 through FF. Hexadecimal is also commonly used to represent computer memory addresses.

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Representing hexadecimal

In situations where there is no context, a hexadecimal number might be ambiguous and confused with numbers expressed in other bases. There are several conventions for expressing values unambiguously. A numerical subscript (itself written in decimal) can give the base explicitly: 15910 is decimal 159; 15916 is hexadecimal 159, which is equal to 34510. Other authors prefer a text subscript, such as 159decimal and 159hex, or 159d and 159h.

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