Alan Turing

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Who Is He


Alan Mathison Turing
(1912-06-23)23 June 1912

London, England


7 June 1954(1954-06-07) (aged 41), Cheshire, England


Wilmslow, Cheshire, England




Princeton University (1936–1938)

  • Parents

  • Julius Mathison Turing,

    Ethel Sara Turing (Stoney).

  • Siblings

  • John Turing

    The Enigma

    The Enigma machine is a piece of spook hardware invented by a German and used by Britain's codebreakers as a way of deciphering German signals traffic during World War Two. It has been claimed that as a result of the information gained through this device, hostilities between Germany and the Allied forces were curtailed by two years.

    Enigma allowed an operator to type in a message, then scramble it by using three to five notched wheels, or rotors, which displayed different letters of the alphabet. The receiver needed to know the exact settings of these rotors in order to reconstitute the coded text. Over the years the basic machine became more complicated as German code experts added plugs with electronic circuits.

    It was only after they had handed over details to the Polish Cipher Bureau that progress was made. Helped by its closer links to the German engineering industry, the Poles managed to reconstruct an Enigma machine, complete with internal wiring, to read the German forces’ messages between 1933 and 1938.

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    The bombe was an electro-mechanical device that replicated the action of several Enigma machines wired together. A standard German Enigma employed, at any one time, a set of three rotors, each of which could be set in any of 26 positions. The standard British bombe contained thirty six Enigma equivalents, each with three drums wired to produce the same scrambling effect as the Enigma rotors. A bombe could run two or three jobs simultaneously. Each job would have a menu that had to be run against a number of different wheel orders. If the menu contained 12 or fewer letters, three different wheel orders could be run on one bombe; if more than 12 letters, only two.
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