Science Past from the issue of December 2, 1961

ELECTRONIC COIN TOSSING — An electronic method of tossing coins that determines “heads” or “tails” 200,000 times a second has been devised at the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory, San Diego, Calif. The new machine is not a gambling device but is being used to develop automatic signal detection methods for future Navy radar. It promises to have application in civilian communication systems and quality control. In the device, electrical circuits play the part of coins. These electrical circuits rest in either one of two states — these two states represent the heads and tails of the coin. Electronic noise generators are used to randomly change the circuit states or “toss the coin.”

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