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Electronics Catlog
DIC Catlog

Number System
Conversions Between Number System
Arithematic Operations
1's & 2's Complement
Gray Codes
Arithmetic Circuits
Logical Gates and Truth Table Funtions
Boolean Expressions
Boolean Algebra
Karnaugh Map
Encoder & Decoder
TTL Circuits
555 Timer
Flip Flops
RS Flip - Flop
JK Flip - Flop
D Flip - Flop
Shift Register
Schmitt Trigger
Asynchronous Counters
Synchronous Counters
Digital - Analog Conversion
Data Flow
Memory Drives
Electronics Equation
Resistor Color Codes

Forms and Definitions of Boolean Expressions

Numerical Representation

    Take as an example the truth table of a three-variable function as shown below. Three variables, each of which can take the values 0 or 1, yields eight possible combinations of values for which the function may be true.

    The function has a value 1 for the combinations shown, therefore:
Boolean Exp Ex01

    This can also be written as: f(A, B, C) = 000 + 010 + 011 + 111

    Note that the summation sign indicates that the terms are "OR'ed" together. The function can be further reduced to the form:

f(A, B, C) = (000, 010, 011, 111)

    It is self-evident that the binary form of a function can be written directly from the truth table.

(a) the position of the digits must not be changed

(b) the expression must be in standard sum of products form.

    It follows from the last expression that the binary form can be replaced by the equivalent decimal form, namely:

f(A, B, C) = (0,2,3,7)

Product of Sums Representation

    From the truth table given above the function has the value 0 for the combinations shown, therefore
Boolean Exp Ex02

Writing the inverse of this function:
Boolean Exp Ex03

Applying De Morgan's Theorem we obtain:
Boolean Exp Ex04

Applying the second De Morgan's Theorem we obtain:

The function is expressed in standard product of sums form.

    Thus there are two forms of a function, one is a sum of products form (either standard or normal) as given by expression (1), the other a product of sums form (either standard or normal) as given by expression (4). The gate implementation of the two forms is not the same!


Consider the function: Boolean Exp Ex05

In binary form: f(A, B, C, D) = (0101, 1011, 1100, 0000, 1010, 0111)

In decimal form: f(A, B, C, D) = (5, 11, 12, 0, 10, 7)



    A term is a collection of variables, e.g. ABCD.


    A constant is a value or quantity which has a fixed meaning. In conventional algebra the constants include all integers and fractions. In Boolean algebra there are only two possible constants, one and zero. These two constants are used to describe true and false, up and down, go and not go etc.


    A variable is a quantity which changes by taking on the value of any constant in the algebraic system. At any one time the variable has a particular value of constant. There are only two values of constants in the system- therefore a variable can only be zero or one. Variables are denoted by letters.


    A literal is a variable or its complement Boolean Exp Literals


    Also known as the standard product or canonic product term. This is a term such as Boolean Exp Minterm , etc., where each variable is used once and once only.


    Also known as the standard sum or canonic sum term. This is a term such as Boolean Exp Maxterm , etc., where each variable is used once and once only.

Standard sum of products form

    Also known as the minterm canonic form or canonic sum function. A function in the form of the " sum " (OR) of minterms, e.g:

Boolean Exp Ex07

Standard product of sums form

    Also known as the maxterm canonic form or canonic product function. A function in the form of the " product " (AND) of maxterms, e.g:

Boolean Exp Ex08

Sum of products

    Also known as the normal sum function. A function in the form of the " sum " of normal product terms, e.g:

Boolean Exp Ex9

Product of sums

    Also known as the normal product function. A function in the form of the " product " of normal sum terms, e.g:

Boolean Exp Ex10

Normal (general) sum term

    A term such as Boolean Exp Ex11 etc.

Normal (general) product term

    A term such as Boolean Exp Ex12 etc.

Truth table

    The name "truth table" comes from a similar table used in symbolic logic, in which the truth or falsity of a statement is listed for all possible proposition conditions. The truth table consists of two parts; one part comparising all combinations of values of the variables in a statement (or algebraic expression), the other part containing the values of the statement for each combination. The truth table is useful in that it can be used to verify Boolean identities.

Boolean Exp Ex13

Adjacent cells

    Consider the following map. The function plotted is Boolean Exp Ex14

Boolean Exp Ex15

    Using algebraic simplification, Boolean Exp Ex16 by using T9a of the Boolean Laws (A + Ä = 1). Referring to the map we can encircle the adjacent cells and infer that A and Ä are not required.

    If two occupied cells of a Karnaugh are adjacent, horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally) then one variable is redundant. This has resulted by labelling the map as shown

Prime implicants

    It is an implicant of a function which does not imply any other implicant of the function.

Prime implicant chart

    The chart is used to remove redundant prime implicants. A grid is prepared having all the prime implicants listed down the left and all the minterms of the function along the top. Each minterm covered by a given prime implicant is marked in the appropiate postion.