Turing machine

[too r-ing, tyoo r-]
noun Mathematics.
  1. a hypothetical device with a set of logical rules of computation: the concept is used in mathematical studies of the computability of numbers and in the mathematical theories of automata and computers.

Origin of Turing machine

after Alan M. Turing (1912–54), English mathematician, who described such a machine in 1936
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for turing machine

Turing machine

noun
  1. a hypothetical universal computing machine able to modify its original instructions by reading, erasing, or writing a new symbol on a moving tape of fixed length that acts as its program. The concept was instrumental in the early development of computer systems
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for turing machine

Turing machine

n.

1937, named for English mathematician and computer pioneer Alan M. Turing (1912-1954), who described such a device in 1936.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

turing machine in Science

Turing machine

  1. An abstract model of a computing device, used in mathematical studies of computability. A Turing machine takes a tape with a string of symbols on it as an input, and can respond to a given symbol by changing its internal state, writing a new symbol on the tape, shifting the tape right or left to the next symbol, or halting. The inner state of the Turing machine is described by a finite state machine. It has been shown that if the answer to a computational problem can be computed in a finite amount of time, then there exists an abstract Turing machine that can compute it.
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