The Enigma machine is an inspiring story that shows how mathematicians can save lives. It is one of the most famous encryption machines of all time. It was used by Nazi Germany during World War II to send encrypted secret messages.
This article makes an abbreviated description of the methodology and technology surrounding what was arguably one of the best puzzle-solving pieces in history.
This was a puzzle that nearly defeated some of the best brains and most ingenious thinkers of the twentieth century; it was nothing more than deciphering, translating, understanding and collating the information contained in German military messages during World War II (1939-1945). Specifically, it was the ‘decipherment’ of the codes produced by the Enigma machine and the development of what Winston Churchill called the secret ‘ULTRA’.
How the Enigma machine worked
When using an enigma machine several things catch our attention. One is that if we want to encode a word such as security, which has two “D” we see that the output of the code of those two “D” illuminate different letters. The usual thing is that when we pass a code using pencil and paper to a letter it is assigned another letter that will not change. The other is that two “T” letters that come from different letters may be illuminated.
The following video shows in a very didactic and clear way how worked. Is very useful to teach how it worked the machine.
The video has a second part in which we are told about the failure that this machine had and that was discovered by Alan Turing and that was based on the fact that, when pressing on any letter, for example, X, never after the encoding we obtained that same letter.