Alan Turing: The computing pioneer's life and works, in photos

Alan Turing: The computing pioneer's life and works, in photos

Summary: The Science Museum in London is celebrating the centenary of computing pioneer Alan Turing, whose work helped shorten World War II, laid the groundwork for modern computers, and set the standard test for artificial intelligence


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  • Fuselage from the wreckage of a Comet aircraft

    The Pilot ACE computer was used to investigate a series of fatal air crashes involving Comet aircraft in the 1950s. The cause of the crashes was subsequently found to be metal fatigue.

    This piece of fuselage (pictured) is from a Comet that crashed in 1954 into the Mediterranean near Italy, killing 35.

    Credit: Science Museum/SSPL

    Alan Turing: 10 ideas beyond Enigma.

  • Model of vitamin B12

    Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin used the Pilot ACE computer in research into the structure of vitamins, using it to help devise this model of vitamin B12 (pictured), presented to the Science Museum in 1959.

    Credit: Science Museum/SSPL 

    Alan Turing: 10 ideas beyond Enigma.

  • The Logic Machine devised by Turing protégé Dietrich Prinz

    Turing went to work at Manchester University in 1948, after leaving the National Physics Laboratory. In 1949, his protégé Dietrich Prinz worked with philosophy lecturer Wolfe Mays to devise the electrical relay-operated symbolic logic machine pictured above. Built from RAF spare-parts, the machine is a device for testing logical propositions.

    Turing was fascinated by thinking machines, and in 1950 wrote a paper published in Mind that contained what would become known as the 'Turing Test', a way to measure machine intelligence.

    Credit: Science Museum/SSPL

    Alan Turing: 10 ideas beyond Enigma.

Topics: After Hours, Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • Turing was a hero in more ways than just computing. George Takei of Star Trek fame shared this on his Facebook page...