# What do you call the series of digits "010101010" used by computers?

I don't think it's a programming language. I don't think it's a language either, is it just called a binary sprawl? I am curious what it may be called. It may be called a low-level language, because in theory, the numbers get interpreted by the processor as instruction set which consists of commands, address and values, among other things.

• It's a binary representation (encoding) of machine code or data. Are you interested in what most people call it or what it is? Because I think ones and zeros or binary is what most people (even those who know what they're talking about) would call that.
– user3395
Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 22:48

Assuming the "code" in your question is not just random bits, but it represents an actual (binary) computer instruction, this would be known as machine language, or machine code.

From M-W:

machine language the set of symbolic instruction codes usually in binary form that is used to represent operations and data in a machine (such as a computer)

Another definition (found among Google results) is:

machine code a computer programming language consisting of binary or hexadecimal instructions which a computer can respond to directly.

You already have the correct word to describe them: binary. I believe you are thinking of simply binary numbers or numerals which are expressed in a base-2 system. Rather than a language themselves, binary numbers are the logical basis for modern programming languages.

For example, the binary number you've provided in the title, expressed in the more common (in human language) base-10 system of numbers, would be 170. The word for the n in base-n is radix.

They are binary digits or (abbreviated) bits.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has this definition

bit noun (3)

Definition of bit (Entry 4 of 4)
computers
1 : a unit of computer information equivalent to the result of a choice between two alternatives (such as yes or no, on or off)