The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary, Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary, Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography

Simon Singh


Codes have made up our minds the fates of empires, nations, and monarchies all through recorded background. Mary, Queen of Scots used to be placed to loss of life via her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, for the excessive crime of treason after spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham cracked the key code she used to speak along with her conspirators. And therefore the process British background was once altered by means of a couple of sheets of cryptic prose. this can be only one hyperlink in humankind's evolutionary chain of mystery conversation, and only one of the attention-grabbing incidents stated in The Code Book, written via bestselling writer Simon Singh.

Combining an exceptional storyteller's feel of drama and a scientist's appreciation for technical perfection, Singh strains the evolution of mystery writing from old Greek army espionage to the frontiers of computing device technology. the result's an epic story of human ingenuity, with examples that variety from the poignant to the ordinary to the world-historical.

There is the case of the Beale ciphers, which consists of Wild West escapades, a cowboy who accrued an unlimited fortune, a buried treasure worthy $20 million, and a mysterious set of encrypted papers describing its whereabouts--papers that experience baffled generations of cryptanalysts and captivated thousands of treasure hunters.

A swifter finish to a bloody struggle was once the single present which may be promised to the Allied code breakers of global Wars I and II, whose selfless contributions altered the process heritage; yet few of them lived to obtain any credits for his or her top-secret accomplishments. one of the so much relocating of those tales is that of the area battle II British code breaker Alan Turing, who gave up an excellent occupation in arithmetic to commit himself to the Allied reason, in basic terms to finish his years punished via the nation for his homosexuality, whereas his heroism was once missed. No much less heroic have been the Navajo code talkers, who volunteered with out hesitation to danger their lives for the Allied forces within the jap theater, the place they have been sometimes fallacious for the enemy.

Interspersed with those gripping tales are transparent mathematical, linguistic, and technological demonstrations of codes, in addition to illustrations of the awesome personalities--many brave, a few villainous, and all obsessive--who wrote and broke them.

All roads result in the current day, during which the potential for a really unbreakable code looms huge. Singh explores this hazard, and the ramifications of our expanding want for privateness, while it starts to chafe opposed to the acknowledged project of the robust and deeply secretive nationwide safeguard corporation. pleasing, compelling, and remarkably far-reaching, it is a e-book that might endlessly modify your view of historical past, what drives it, and the way deepest that email you simply despatched rather is.

Included within the e-book is a global Cipher Challenge--a $15,000 award might be given through the writer to the 1st reader who cracks the code effectively. growth towards the answer might be tracked at the Code e-book web site.

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