Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Lambda calculus normal form

  1. May 3, 2004 #1
    Hello, I have a simple question.
    When reducing a lambda expression what happens in this case:

    (L x.y) (L z.z) (L z.z) -> y (L z.z) right?

    How to interpret the variable y in front? Is that normal form, or can
    I reduce it to just: y
    Or is the expression ilegal?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2004 #2

    matt grime

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    At the risk of being flamed, I'm a pretty experienced mathematician, and I' have no idea what you mean by any of those expressions. I'm not going to say they are non-standard, but I think you ought to at least indicate what they mean if you want an answer.
  4. May 3, 2004 #3
    It's Lambda Calculus. It's used in computer science as an alternative to Turing machines; instead of representing computation as the operation of a machine, we represent it as the evaluation of functions. Unless you've specifically studied computer science it's unlikely you would have ever even heard of it.

    I would try and help, but I'm only an undergraduate; one who hasn't had any formal lectures involving lambda calculus. If you don't mind waiting a year I can get back to you... :biggrin:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook