Program to demonstrate use of Bitwise Shift Operator in Java

This is a simple program to demonstrate the use of Bitwise Shift operator and learn the basics of Java Programming.


Sometimes we need to change the value of a variable by performing a low-level operation. In a computer system, every number is stored as a binary number made of 1s and 0s. The Bitwise Shift operator can change the value of a stored variable by changing its binary value.

We are using JDK 8u111 with Netbeans IDE 8.2 to compile and run this program.

Problem Definition

This program changes the value of a variable by changing bit values. To perform a bitwise shift we are using two-byte data type variable.

A byte is one of the eight primitive data types in Java. The byte type is 8-bit signed integer data type. It means that it stores integer values -128 to 127, because whenever a signed binary is used then one bit is used as an sign bit. If the signed bit is not used then the integer values are between 0 to 255.


The bit shift operator shifts a certain number of bit to right or left depending on which operator you are using – right bit shift operator (>>) or left bit shift operator (<<).

The program changes the value of variable a by shifting the bit values to left.

Program Code

class Byteshift {

    public static void main(String args[])

        byte a=64,b;

        int l;

        l = a<<2;

        b = (byte)(a << 2);

        System.out.println("Original value of a:" + a);

        System.out.println("l and b:" + l +" "+ b);



Output – Bitwise Shift Operator

Original value of  a: 64

l and b: 256  0

The original value a = 64 is 0100 0000 in binary. The bit shift operator move the first 1s to 2 bit left. The new binary value is 0000 0000 which is 0.

Now the l is not limited to 8-bit like a, it is of 32 or 16 bits. The left bit shift by 2 place will be following.

l = 0000 0001 0000 0000 = 2^9 = 256

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