A fascinating meander through the centuries; replete with tales of intrigue, political chicanery, military secrecy and academic rivalry.
- THE TIMES
The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography From the best-selling author of Fermat’s Last Theorem, THE CODE BOOK is a history of man’s urge to uncover the secrets of codes, from Egyptian puzzles to modern day computer encryptions.
As in Fermat’s Last Theorem, Simon Singh brings life to an anstonishing story of puzzles, codes, languages and riddles that reveals man’s continual pursuit to disguise and uncover, and to work out the secret languages of others. Codes have influenced events throughout history, both in the stories of those who make them and those who break them. The betrayal of Mary Queen of Scots and the cracking of the enigma code that helped the Allies in World War II are major episodes in a continuing history of cryptography. In addition to stories of intrigue and warfare, Simon Singh also investigates other codes, the unravelling of genes and the rediscovery of ancient languages and most tantalisingly, the Beale ciphers, an unbroken code that could hold the key to a $20 million treasure.
Simon Singh was born in Somerset of Punjabi descent, studied physics at Imperial College, London, and took a PhD in particle physics at the University of Cambridge.
In 1990 he joined the BBC’s Science Department, where he was a producer and director in programmes such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. In 1996 he directed Fermat’s Last Theorem, a BAFTA award winning documentary about the world’s most notorious mathematical problem. The documentary was also aired in America as part of the NOVA series. The Proof, as it was re-titled, was also nominated for an Emmy.
Since then, Simon has researched the history of code-breaking, writing books and presenting a Channel 4 series about the topic. He has also become interested in studying the effectiveness of alternative therapies, and recently teamed up with Professor Edzard Ernst to write TRICK OR TREATMENT? : Alternative Medicine on Trial.