by Dinesh Thakur Category: array

Perhaps one of the most important of all concepts that you need to learn in order  to be effective is the array. Until now, we have looked at variables that hold just one  value – the ints hold one number and the strings hold one text string. Arrays are  used when we want to hold two or more values, perhaps a list. Arrays can be  thought as columns in a spreadsheet – a spreadsheet can have one or it can have  many columns.

An Array is a (fixed length) data structures used to store multiple data elements, that share a common name with the same data type. Array is a predefined class present in java.lang.package. It is a final class which can't be inherited. The memory allocated to an array is consecutive. Each data item is an element of the array.

All the elements of an array are under one variable name. Its position accesses every data element of an array, and an integer value indicates that position that starts from 0 (zero) called index or subscript and go up for each position that has a value. The array size is fixed and cannot change at runtime of the program. Setting up an array requires that  you inform Java what type of data is being stored in it – strings, Booleans, integers,  and so on. Then you need to tell Java the number of positions in the array and do  this to set them up:  
int[] aryNums;

In Java, arrays can be of either type, primitive data types or references types. In primitive data type array, all elements are of a specific primitive data type. In references type array all elements are of specific reference type. There is only one way to reference the items: by using a subscript to indicate which element number to access. The number used to reference the specific element of an array is called the component.

A primitive type variable,such as int, holds a value. A reference type variable, such as an array, holds a memory address where the value is stored. In other words, array names contain references, as do all Java object names.

We can define an array name rollno to represent a set of roll no of a group of students — a particular value indicated by a number called index number. An index number is present in brackets after the array name.

Java One dimensional array

To create an One dimensional array, you need to perform three steps:

Declaration of an One dimensional array

We can declare an array in java using subscript operator. The general form is

datatype var_name[];

is equivalent to

datatype[] var_name[];

Here, datatype is valid java datatype and var_name is the name of the array.


int number[];

int[] number;

Create memory space

As defined earlier array length is fixed at its creation time and cannot be changed, i.e., using new operator an array can create for a definite number of elements of a homogeneous type. The constructing statement of array return reference value of resulting array and that assigned to the corresponding type array variable. The general form is:

array_name = new datatype[size];


number = new int[10];

avg = new float[10];

It is also possible to combine the declaration and creation into one.

The general form is

datatype arrayname[] = new datatype [size];


int number[] = new int[10];

float avg[] = new float[10];

<array-size> can be minimum 0, because Java support zero-length arrays constructions. But it can never be negative, otherwise it will throw NegativeArraySizeException. The length of constructed array will be the <array-size> given at the creation time. Later you can find the length of an array using <array-name>.length.

Initialization of One dimensional array

We can store values at the time of declaration. The compiler allocates the required space depending upon the list of values. The general form is:

datatype array_name[] = {list of values};

Example of One dimensional array

class arraynote {
     public static void main(String args[]){
         int days[]={30,28,29,31,30};
         System.out.println("January has "+days[3]+" days");
class ArrayExample {
      public static void main(String args[]){
          int days[]=newint[5];
          days[0]=28; days[1]=31; days[2]=30; days[3]=31; days[4]=30;
          System.out.println("January has "+days[1]+" days");
class arraynote {
        public static void main(String args[]){
            double arraynote[] = new double[3];
            arraynote [0] = 22.58;
            arraynote [1] = 60.48;
            arraynote [2] = 32.58;

Representation of array in memory

• In java when the array is declared it captures a chunk of memory from the stack.
• Array is constructed at the run time.At the construction time by specifying the size of the array through new operator garbage collector allocates consecutive memory location from the heap.

In java the compiler implicitly calls the new operator to allocates memory from heap for creation of an array without using new operator.

How to access array elements?

To access elements of an array, there is one array expression with a specific format that contains an array reference followed by an index number. An expression can calculate an index number, that must lie between integers 0 (zero) to n-1 (n is the length of the array).
At run time array accesses are checked which is an attempt to check whether an index is less than zero or greater than or equal to n (n is the length of the array) then ArraylndexOutOfBoundsException thrown.
Array index must be int value, but it can be short, byte, or char because they are implicitly converted to unary numeric value and become int values. A long index value generates a compile-time error.

For Example:

int an_Array = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ,9}; //One dimensional array
  for(int i=0; i<10;i++)
       System.out.println(anArray[i]); //Accessing ith index value.
       int matrix[][] = {{1, 2, 3}, {4, 5, 6}, {7, 8, 9}};
       //Two dimensional array
       for(int i=0; i<3; i++) {
            for(int j=0; j<3; j++)

About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.C.A, MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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