6 Python Bitwise Operators [To Easily Manipulate Bits]

What is a bitwise operators? We will say that operator is a bitwise operator if its result is based on the bits representation of its integer operands. In other words, python bitwise operators performs its operation on its integer operands at a bit level.

The python programing language has 6 bitwise operators :NOT Operator : ~A , AND Operator : A & B , OR Operator : A | B , XOR Operator : A ^ B , SHIFT LEFT Operator : A << B , SHIFT RIGHT Operator : A >> B

Let’s what of those Python bitwise operators do

NOT Operator : ~A

The simplest python bitwise operator is the NOT operator, denoted by the symbol ~.

The NOT operator is the unary operator – In other words, the NOT operator takes only one integer value for its operation.

What ~A do?

The n’th bit of the result of NOT operator is 0 if corresponding bit of A is 1, and 1 if the corresponding bit of A is 0. In other words, the result is the complement of A – the number you get by switching each 1 for a 0 and each 0 for a 1. We can write this information in the following truth table :

A~A
01
10
Truth Table Of NOT Operator

Samples of NOT Operator

     A  = 00110101
    ~A = 11001010   
    A  = 00000001
    ~A = 11111110
     A  = 00110101
    ~A = 11001010   
      A  = 01100110
     ~A = 10011001  

AND Operator : A & B

The AND operator is denoted by the symbol &.

The AND operator is the binary operator – In other words, the AND operator takes 2 integer values for its operation.

What A & B do?

The n’th bit of the result of AND operator is 1 if the corresponding bit of A AND of B is 1, otherwise it’s 0. We can write this information in the following truth table :

ABA & B
000
010
100
111
Truth Table Of AND Operator

Samples of AND Operator

    A     = 10001001
    B     = 01011011
    A & B = 00001001  
    A     = 11000011
    B     = 01011010
    A & B = 01000010 
    A     = 11110000
    B     = 00111100
    A & B = 00110000 
    A     = 11001100
    B     = 00001111
    A & B = 00001100  

OR Operator : A | B

The OR operator is denoted by the symbol |.

The OR operator is the binary operator – In other words, the OR operator takes 2 integer values for its operation.

What the A | B do?

The n’th bit of the result of OR operator is 1 if the corresponding bit of A OR of B is 1, otherwise it’s 0. We can write this information in the following truth table :

ABA | B
000
011
101
111
Truth Table Of OR Operator

As we can see in the truth table, There is another way to describe the OR operator The n’th bit of the result of OR operator is 0 only if the corresponding bit of A AND of B is 0, otherwise it’s 1.

Samples of OR Operator

    A     = 11000011
B = 01011010
A | B = 11011011
    A     = 11001100
    B     = 00001111
    A | B = 11001111
    A     = 11110000
B = 00111100
A | B = 11111100
    A     = 10001001
    B     = 01011011
    A | B = 11011011

XOR Operator : A ^ B

The XOR operator is denoted by the symbol ^.

The XOR operator is the binary operator – In other words, the XOR operator takes 2 integer values for its operation.

What the A ^ B do?

The n’th bit of the result of XOR operator is 1 if the corresponding bit of A and B are different, and 0 if they are identical (if both are 0 or both are 1). We can write this information in the following truth table :

ABA ^ B
000
011
101
110
Truth Table Of XOR Operator

Samples of XOR Operator

    A     = 10001001
    B     = 01011011
    A ^ B = 11010010 
    A     = 11000011
    B     = 01011010
    A ^ B = 10011001    
    A     = 11001100
    B     = 00001111
    A ^ B = 11000011    
    A     = 11110000
    B     = 00111100
    A ^ B = 11001100  

SHIFT LEFT Operator : A << B

The SHIFT LEFT operator is denoted by the symbol <<

The SHIFT LEFT operator is the binary operator – In other words, the SHIFT LEFT operator takes 2 integer values for its operation.

What the A << B do?

The result of this expression is A with the bits shifted to the left by B places. The new bits inserted in the right side are zero.

Samples of SHIFT LEFT Operator

    00000001 << 0 = 00000001
    00000001 << 1 = 00000010
    00000001 << 2 = 00000100
    00000001 << 5 = 00100000    
    10001001 << 0 = 10001001
    10001001 << 1 = 00010010
    10001001 << 2 = 00100100
    10001001 << 5 = 00100000

SHIFT RIGHT Operator : A >> B

The SHIFT RIGHT operator is denoted by the symbol >>

The SHIFT RIGHT operator is the binary operator – In other words, the SHIFT RIGHT operator takes 2 integer values for its operation.

What the A >> B do?

The result of this expression is A with the bits shifted to the right by B places. The new bits inserted in the left side are the left most bit of A

Samples of SHIFT LEFT Operator

    10000000 << 0 = 10000000
    10000000 << 1 = 11000000
    10000000 << 2 = 11100000
    10000000 << 5 = 11111100    
    01000000 << 0 = 01000000
    01000000 << 1 = 00100000
    01000000 << 2 = 00010000
    01000000 << 5 = 00000010    

Python Bitwise Operators

We see what the python bitwise operators do. In the next part, we see some insights into how to manipulate bits.

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