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Professor Terry Tao quoted in New Scientist Magazine

Professor Terry Tao

This Turing machine should run forever unless maths is wrong


One hundred and fifty years of mathematics will be proved wrong if a new computer program stops running. Thankfully, it’s unlikely to happen, but the code behind it is testing the limits of the mathematical realm.

The program is a simulated Turing machine, a mathematical model of computation created by codebreaker Alan Turing. In 1936, he showed that the actions of any computer algorithm can be mimicked by a simple machine that reads and writes 0s and 1s on an infinitely long tape by working through a set of states, or instructions. The more complex the algorithm, the more states the machine requires.

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