# Introduction to Bit Shifting

A bit shift is a Bitwise operation where the order of a series of bits is moved, either to the left or right, to efficiently perform a mathematical operation.

We learned the most common Bitwise operations so far. Now, we are about to learn shifting, which is a common operation we use when we divide/multiply a number by 2.

## What is shifting?

A bit shift is a Bitwise operation where the order of a series of bits is moved, either to the left or right, to efficiently perform a mathematical operation.

A bit shift moves each digit in a number’s binary representation left or right. The bit-shifting operators do precisely what their name implies: they shift bits. Here is a brief introduction to the different shift operators.

## Types

There are three main types of shifts:

1. Left shift: `<<` is the left shift operator and meets both logical and arithmetic shifts’ needs.
2. Arithmetic/signed right shift: `>>` is the arithmetic (or signed) right shift operator.
3. Logical/unsigned right shift: `>>>` is the logical (or unsigned) right shift operator.
Note: `<<<` is not an operator because it would be redundant.

These operators can be applied to integer values `int`, `long`, `short`, `byte` or `char`.

In some languages, applying the shift operators to any datatype smaller than `int` automatically resizes the operand to be an `int`.

Bit ManipulationData Structures and Algorithms

Gopi is an engineering leader with 12+ of experience in full-stack development—a specialist in Java technology stack. He worked for multiple startups, the European govt, and FAANG in India and Europe.

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