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Python - Bitwise XOR operator



The Bitwise XOR operator (^) is a binary operator which takes two bit patterns of equal length and performs the logical exclusive OR operation on each pair of corresponding bits. It returns 1 if only one of the bits is 1, else returns 0.

Bit_1Bit_2Bit_1 ^ Bit_2
000
101
011
110

The example below describes how bitwise XOR operator works:

50 ^ 25 returns 43

     50    ->    110010  (In Binary)
   ^ 25    ->  ^ 011001  (In Binary)
    ----        --------
     43    <-    101011  (In Binary)  

The code of using Bitwise XOR operator (^) is given below:

x = 50
y = 25

#Bitwise XOR operation
z = x ^ y

#Displaying the result
print("z =", z)

The output of the above code will be:

z = 43

Example: Swap two numbers without using temporary variable

The bitwise XOR operator can be used to swap the value of two variables. Consider the example below.

def swap(x, y):
  print("Before Swap.")
  print("x =",x)
  print("y =",y)

  #Swap technique
  x = x ^ y
  y = x ^ y
  x = y ^ x

  print("After Swap.")
  print("x =",x)
  print("y =",y)

swap(10, 25)

The above code will give the following output:

Before Swap.
x = 10
y = 25
After Swap.
x = 25
y = 10

❮ Python - Operators

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