Monday, November 5, 2012

Did Alan #Turing interrogate Konrad Zuse in Göttingen in 1947?

Konrad Zuse
I picked up this story on Twitter from @AlanTuringYear - basically Heinz Billing, of the Max Planck Institute for Physics wrote in his memoirs that  a group of British scientists from the National Physical Laboratory in London interrogated German scientists after WWII. Thus, Alan Turing, who was one of the British scientists ,would have met the German computer pioneer Konrad Zuse. Evidence for and against this meeting is described by Herbert Bruderer, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, in a paper called Did Alan Turing interrogate Konrad Zuse in Göttingen in 1947? 
   If they did meet it would have been fascinating for both men. Zuse had independently invented a digital computer, the Z1, in Nazi Germany and after the war he founded a computer company that was eventually bought by Siemens. He also wrote a book, Computing Space, that presents the idea that the universe may actually be a digital construct running in the memory of a grid of computers.
    You can find out more about this remarkable man in The Universal Machine.