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Crossing the boundary: analogue universe, digital worlds

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Crossing the boundary: analogue universe, digital worlds Copyrighted Icon

How does the computer's peculiar binary world of digital entities differ from our analogue world of colour, sound, taste and touch? This free course, Crossing the boundary: analogue universe, digital worlds, explores the way in which information, in the form of text, still and moving images, and sound can cross the boundary from the analogue universe into a digital world.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:


  • give examples of quantities that are intrinsically analogue, and quantities that are intrinsically discrete/digital
  • define the terms ‘bit’, ‘byte’ and ‘word’
  • outline how visual information, such as pictures, diagrams and moving images can be expressed numerically inside a computer
  • describe how sounds such as speech and music can be represented inside a computer in terms of numbers.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 08/11/2018

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