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In a binary (base 2) computer, each bit is on (1) or off (0). With a binary system, all odd numbers will end with a 1 bit, and all odd numbers will end with a 0 bit. Odd and even numbers have parity, which is useful for solving many problems.

In a ternary (base 3) computer, each bit is positive (1), neutral (0), or negative (-1, or 1). Using weights of 1, 3, and 9 grams, any number of grams from 0 to 13 can be measured. In the animation below, all 14 possible weights are shown in a loop, with only a single ternary weight added or removed at each step.

Ternary weighing
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