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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is BigInt?
3.
Working with BigInt
4.
Limitations and Workarounds
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is BigInt in JavaScript?
5.2.
Can I use BigInt with the Math object's methods?
5.3.
Can I mix BigInts and regular numbers in operations?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

JavaScript BigInt Library

Author Lekhika
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Anubhav Sinha
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25 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Programming often involves dealing with large numbers. JavaScript, like many languages, has limitations on the size of the numbers it can accurately represent. However, the BigInt library in JavaScript introduces a way to work with numbers beyond the safe integer limit. This article will delve into BigInt's abilities, with a step-by-step guide on its usage, and provide some real-world examples.

JavaScript BigInt Library

What is BigInt?

BigInt is a built-in object in Javascript that allows you to work with integers larger than 2^53 - 1 (also known as Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER). You can create BigInts by appending n to the end of an integer or by calling the BigInt function:

let largeNumber = 1234567890123456789012345678901234567890n;
let anotherLargeNumber = BigInt("1234567890123456789012345678901234567890");

 

Note that BigInts behave differently than regular numbers in some scenarios. For instance, you can't mix BigInts and numbers in operations.

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Working with BigInt

With BigInt, we can perform basic arithmetic operations just like we can with normal numbers. Here's an example:

let bigNum1 = 1000000000000000000000000n;
let bigNum2 = 2000000000000000000000000n;
console.log(bigNum1 + bigNum2); // 3000000000000000000000000n

 

However, remember that mixing BigInts with regular numbers will cause an error:

let bigNum = 1000000000000000000000000n;
let regularNum = 5;
console.log(bigNum + regularNum); // TypeError: Cannot mix BigInt and other types

 

BigInts also work with comparison operators:

let bigNum1 = 1000000000000000000000000n;
let bigNum2 = 2000000000000000000000000n;
console.log(bigNum1 < bigNum2); // true

Limitations and Workarounds

BigInts can't be used with the Math object's methods. However, basic arithmetic operations can usually be used as a workaround. For example, you can't use Math.pow with BigInts, but you can use the ** operator instead:

let base = 5n;
let exponent = 3n;
console.log(base ** exponent); // 125n

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BigInt in JavaScript?

BigInt is a built-in object in JavaScript for handling integers larger than 2^53 - 1.

Can I use BigInt with the Math object's methods?

No, BigInts can't be used with the Math object's methods.

Can I mix BigInts and regular numbers in operations?

No, mixing BigInts and regular numbers in operations will cause an error.

Conclusion

JavaScript's BigInt library is an incredibly useful tool when dealing with large numbers that exceed the safe integer limit. It offers the ability to perform arithmetic operations, comparisons, and even bitwise operations. While it has some limitations, such as incompatibility with the Math object's methods and regular numbers, understanding and effectively using BigInt can vastly expand your ability to work with large numbers in JavaScript.

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