A Turing machine is a theoretical device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Despite its simplicity, a Turing machine can be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer algorithm, and is particularly useful in explaining the functions of a CPU inside a computer.
The "Turing" machine was described by Alan Turing in 1936, which he called an "a(utomatic)-machine." The Turing machine was not intended as a practical computing technology, but rather as a thought experiment representing a computing machine. Turing machines help computer scientists understand the limits of mechanical computation.
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