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Modeling RealityHow Computers Mirror Life$
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Iwo Bialynicki-Birula and Iwona Bialynicka-Birula

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198531005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198531005.001.0001

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Universal computer

Universal computer

The Turing machine

Chapter:
(p.155) 15 Universal computer
Source:
Modeling Reality
Author(s):

Iwo Białynicki-Birula

Iwona Białynicka-Birula

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198531005.003.0015

A Turing machine is a model of all computers. The hardware consists of a tape to write on and the head that does the writing depending on its internal state. The software is a set of rules that determine what to write and in which direction to move the head depending on the symbol written on the tape and the state of the head. This simple device enabled Turing to solve some deep problems in the foundation of mathematics. The action of the Turing machine is illustrated in the program accompanying the book with several simple but nontrivial examples.

Keywords:   Turing machine, mathematics, software, computers

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