biography of Alan Turing Essay

3963 WordsDec 13, 201316 Pages
A Biography of Alan Turing, with Mathematics. From the middle name one may suspect a certain class value,although the "Math" bit is a strange coincidence. His father went to Oxford and then worked for the Indian Civil Service. His mother's father also worked in India. He was born in 1912, their second son. 1926 his father retired so perhaps he had something of normal family life from then on. Went to Sherborne, one of older public schools. Whilst there he became a close friend of Christopher Morcom. He was Alan's first love although Chris as in no way homosexual. Has been called "his unfulfilled ideal" Otherwise only short liasons. Alan said "worshipped ground he trod on" . Could discuss science together overcoming alan's…show more content…
Any +ve int. >2 is sum of 2 prime numbers. Two questions. How do we prove this, but also CAN we ever prove it. Third problem became the great mathematical challenge of the age. Turing solved it, but in the process established a system that is still useable today. Am indebted to Oxford university course on computing for the following, which I reproduce without a full understanding. Turing’s (successful) approach to the decidability problem involved the design and use of an imaginary machine. This is the same technique...gedanken...that was used by Albert Einstein, in relation to relativity and in 'Schrodinger’s Cat' reference quantum mechanics. Turing’s machine used a continuous tape, which can be as long as required, which carries a series of cells. This passes under a read/write head that can read and if required change the symbol under it. The head views one symbol at a time and, can: move, or not move, the tape one cell in either direction; read and /or change the symbol written on that cell; or change states. The ‘states’ are a finite number of conditions, e.g. start, add, carry, return and stop. Different sets of states will be needed for different problems. Turing was able to show that if we first assume a solution does exist then we can show that this would lead to a completely impossible situation. Hence a solution does not exist (proof by contradiction, a standard method in mathematics.). When Turing went to show his

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