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In computer science, a computation is the evolution over time of a computer. However, the meaning of the word computer should be understood in a large sense, since it doese not restrict to a digital computer. A typical example of a physical computation is the evolution over time of a digital computer. Other examples of physical computations are derived from quantum computers or molecular computers. In computer science, which is sometimes described as the discipline that studies computations, mathematical models of computers are defined; a typical model is the Turing machine. In this context, a computation thus becomes a mathematical object: the evolution over time of a Turing machine. The sub-field of computer science which studies mathematical models of computations is called the theory of computation.


The word computation has an archaic meaning (from its latin ethymologycal roots), but the word has come back in use with the arising of a new scientific discipline: computer science.

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