Scientists Unravel Enigma Machine
Scientists unravel the secrets inside the Enigma machine using x-ray imaging technology.
12:34 22 November 2018
Scientists from The University of Manchester have unraveled features inside the Enigma’s metal casing using x-ray imaging technology. The Enigma machine, which was used by the German military in World War Two, was cracked by Alan Turing and his team of code breakers at Bletchley Park. Using x-ray computed tomography, they were able to see the inside of the metal casing, including the structure of the rotors that encrypted messages using the machine.
Professor Philip Withers, Chief Scientist at the Henry Royce Institute and Regius Professor of Materials at The University of Manchester, said: "Normally Royce facilities are probing new materials to solve engineering problems in industry but when we were approached we were keen to help. Gaining a first look inside the Enigma machine required us to take over 1500 separate x-ray radiographs. It is exciting and appropriate to be able to unlock some of the secrets of such an iconic machine here at Manchester."
Enigma machine owner David Cripps said: "One thing we’ve been able to do is actually look inside the rotors and see the individual wires and pins which connect the 26 letters on each of the three rotors, enabling a message to be encrypted. This is the first time anyone has been able to look inside the Enigma with this level of detail, using a technique that does not damage the machine."