Highlights from The Code Book by Simon Singh

Cover of The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

I was interested in Cryptography and Number Theory during my undergraduate studies so reading the history of Cryptography in this book was intriguing for me. The author has done excellent work in making sure that even an uninitiated person in Cryptography can understand and appreciate the importance of work done in this field. The people unequipped with the necessary background knowledge will enjoy this book as much as the math nerds. The book contains very little mathematical stuff, but the author tries to explain the ciphers by taking appropriate examples.

I enjoyed the story of the breaking of the Enigma Machine. It seems to be a perfect time to watch The Imitation Game 😊. The book gets boring in the post RSA part. Probably one reason behind this was my lack of knowledge about Quantum Computing. Although a few days back, two of my colleagues were discussing an idea about Quantum Computing. I overheard their discussion, and surprisingly, I was able to understand everything they were talking, to some extent. So I guess that this book has at least initiated me to the field of Quantum Computing.

It was a 5-star book for me, and it has reserved its place in my favorite books shelf. I will revisit this book in future when I get a chance to teach Cryptography to someone. Before that, I need to learn Cryptography, right! Anyone reading this review, if you have any recommendations for books on Cryptography and Number Theory, please do comment.

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