The Enigma Machine and How It Worked Essay

3648 Words Jun 3rd, 2013 15 Pages
The Enigma Machine and How it Worked.-Ibrahim Rashid

What is the Enigma Machine: The enigma machine was a coding device that was used by the Germans during World War 2 to write, send, and decipher encrypted messages.

How did it work: The enigma machine was a very complicated device. On the inside of the machine there were three rotors that contained all 26 letters of the alphabet. What would happen was that when someone would press a letter on the keyboard, a different letter would pop up on the paper, such as A for E, D for G, F for Z, and so on. These substitutions occur because of the positions of the rotors on the inside of the machine. The rotors are first situated at any random letter in the alphabet and when the button is
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List of all possible combinations.
1, 2 * 2,1

I have just explained my set up and provided some background information on the enigma machine, now I will begin to answer my previously states questions.

Question 1: How many different combinations will I have if I have three rotors and three slots?

3 Rotors: 3 Slots: 6 combinations Rotors used: 1/2/3 1. 1 2 3 2. 1 3 2 3. 2 3 1 4. 2 1 3 5. 3 2 1 6. 3 1 2

Answer to Question 1: The answer is 6 different combinations for 3 rotors with 3 different slots. By looking at the chart above, you see that there are only 6 combinations of possible placements of 3 rotors into 3 slots.

Why is this significant: This combination of 3 rotors, 3 slots, and 6 combinations is the standard amount of combinations possible for the enigma machine. There can be no fewer amounts of combinations or fewer amounts of rotors/slots in the enigma machine because that was not how the enigma machine was designed. All other alterations and combinations that come from the enigma machine derive from this standard amount of combinations.

Question 2: How many combinations can we find if we have 4 different rotors that will fit into four slots?

4 Rotors: 4 Slots: 24 Combinations
Rotors Used: 1/2/3/4

1. 2. 1 2 3 4 3. 1 2 4 3 4. 1 3 4 2 5. 1 3 2 4 6. 1 4 2 3 7. 1 4 3 2 8. 2 3 4 1 9. 2 3 1 4 10. 2 4 1 3 11. 2 4 3 1 12. 2 1 4 3 13. 2 1 3

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