The human brain can function most efficiently. It has the ability to solve any kind of problem. When it comes to numbers, it is confined to some limits. According to psychologist George Miller, our brain can typically remember 5 to 9 digits at once. It means it cannot solve complex mathematical problems alone. To aid in this matter, a calculator came into existence.

A calculator is an electronic device that aids in solving complex mathematical problems. The word calculator itself is derived from the Latin word calculare which means to calculate using stones. In ancient times, the Abacus was the first device invented to calculate things. The calculator is the most advanced form of technology to get mathematical solutions.

You must be thinking about how this simple tool can solve complex problems. Well, the work behind the curtains is not simple at all. It involves algorithms, logic, and mathematical concepts. If you are interested in knowing the fascinating workings of a calculator, stick to the article till the end.

## What inside the Calculator

The calculator has a simple and easy-to-use interface. It has a screen and some buttons. Calculators used in the 19th century contain a whole lot of parts. These parts include precision gears, rods, levers, and whatnot. These calculators were mechanically operated. But today, these calculators have been transformed into electronic calculators. These calculators contain very few things. The mechanism behind the calculator is quite simple. Each step contains a few things described below.

Power Source: Any electronic tool requires a power source to work. The calculator uses a lithium battery as a power source. Some calculators can operate on solar cells as well.

Input: A comprehensive keyboard is used to input data. Almost 40 tiny plastic keys are found on the calculator’s keyboard. These keys are attached to a thin membrane of rubber. This rubber membrane is further attached to a circuit.

Processor: Processor is behind all the logic and implementation of mathematical concepts. A microchip is the main processing unit of a calculator.

Output: A small LCD is the output screen. Users can get the result on this screen. Users can also see the input data on the same screen.

## How a Calculator Works

We will get to know the science behind calculators by considering some operations along with some types of calculators.

### Foundation Operations

Every calculator performs the core operations. These arithmetic operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These operations serve as a base for any complex computation.

### Algorithms Computation

Algorithms are the step-by-step procedure to solve any kind of mathematical problem. These algorithms are the advanced version of foundation operations. Once an algorithm is developed, it can be used multiple times to solve the exact problem.

### Quadratic Calculator

**Quadratic calculators** are specifically designed to solve quadratic problems. These calculators operate on quadratic equations. It is used to calculate the roots of quadratic equations. These questions can be solved manually with the help of quadratic formulas, but calculators give accurate and fast results.

### Rate of Change Calculator

Another type of advanced calculator is the rate of change calculator. This calculator analyzes how changes in one variable affect the other variable. Users have to give two initial variables along with their values. The logic behind the calculation is to take a difference of two numbers and then divide the answer with an independent value.

## Science Behind Calculation

Humans deal with decimal values that are 0-9. The calculator uses a binary value to perform calculations. But wait, Isn’t that confusing because the user inputs data in decimal form? The first task of the calculator is to convert decimal values into binary values. This can be called pre-processing in input data. The calculator stores numbers in the form of binary code which means 0 and 1 values. This process is done by a circuit called Binary Coded Decimal (BCD).

Next calculator uses logic either, basic operations like addition, or any algorithm. It uses logic gates, half adder, and full adder to perform calculations. Then it stores the result in memory. The results are displayed on an LCD screen. This screen displays results using pixels. These pixels are tiny dots in millions of numbers. The numbers are displayed on the screen with the help of seven-segment digits. The processor activates different segments at once to display the desired digit on the screen.

## Conclusion

A calculator is an irreplaceable device used to perform mathematical calculations. But don’t get fooled by the simple interface of the calculator. It has a whole background story that does the actual work. It contains circuits, algorithms, power sources, LCDs, and many other components. With the advancement in technologies, calculators evolved to feature different types and kinds. Some advanced types are rate-of-change calculators and Quadratic Calculator. These calculators aid in solving complex mathematical problems with precise results.