A Merkle tree is a data structure that allows for efficient and secure verification of the contents of large datasets. It does this by organizing the data into a tree-like structure, where each node in the tree is a hash of the data at that node and its children. The topmost node, known as the root, is the digital fingerprint of the entire dataset.
To verify the integrity of the data at a particular node, such as Hash 0-1 in the example you provided, you would need to:
Obtain the root of the tree, as well as the hashes of all the nodes on the path from the root to the node you are trying to verify (in this case, Hash 0 and Hash 1).
Calculate the hash of the node you are trying to verify by combining the hashes of its children (in this case, the hash of Hash 0-1 is calculated by hashing together Hash 0 and Hash 1).
Compare the calculated hash with the one provided in the tree. If they match, then the integrity of the data at that node is verified.
The root of the Merkle tree provides a digital fingerprint that can be used to verify the integrity of the data in the tree, as long as you have access to the hashes of the nodes on the path from the root to the node you are trying to verify.