Boolean Algebra (Encyclopedia of Science)
Boolean algebra is a form of mathematics developed by English mathematician George Boole (1815864). Boole created a system by which certain logical statements can be expressed in mathematical terms. The consequences of those statements can then be discovered by performing mathematical operations on the symbols.
As a simple example, consider the following two statements: "I will be home today" and "I will be home tomorrow." Then let the first statement be represented by the symbol P and the second statement be represented by the symbol Q. The rules of Boolean algebra can be used to find out the consequences of various combinations of these two propositions, P and Q.
In general, the two statements can be combined in one of two ways:
P or Q: I will be home today OR I will be home tomorrow.
P and Q: I will be home today AND I will be home tomorrow.
Now the question that can be asked is what conclusions can one draw if P and Q are either true (T) or false (F). For example, what conclusion can be drawn if P and Q are both true? In that case, the combination P or Q is also true. That is, if the statement "I will be home today" (P) is true, and the statement "I will be home tomorrow" (Q) is also true, then the combined statement, "I will be home today OR I will be home tomorrow" (P or Q)...
(The entire section is 505 words.)
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