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The Solution of the Zodiac Killer’s 340-Character Cipher

In 2020, Melbourne, Australia, had a 112-day lockdown of the entire city to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The wearing of masks was mandatory and we were limited to one hour a day of outside activity. Otherwise, we were stuck in our homes. This gave me lots of time to look into interesting problems I’d been putting off for years.

I was inspired by a YouTube video by David Oranchak, which looked at the Zodiac Killer’s 340-character cipher (Z340), which is pictured below. This cipher is considered one of the holy grails of cryptography, as at the time the cipher had resisted attacks for 50 years, so any attempts to find a solution were truly a moonshot.

Announcements & Events

Free-Form Bioprinting with Mathematica and the Wolfram Language

In past blog posts, we’ve talked about the Wolfram Language’s built-in, high-level functionality for 3D printing. Today we’re excited to share an example of how some more general functionality in the language is being used to push the boundaries of this technology. Specifically, we’ll look at how computation enables 3D printing of very intricate sugar structures, which can be used to artificially create physiological channel networks like blood vessels.
Computation & Analysis

Thrust Supersonic Car Engineering Insights: Applying Multiparadigm Data Science

Having a really broad toolset and an open mind on how to approach data can lead to interesting insights that are missed when data is looked at only through the lens of statistics or machine learning. It’s something we at Wolfram Research call multiparadigm data science, which I use here for a small excursion through calculus, graph theory, signal processing, optimization and statistics to gain some interesting insights into the engineering of supersonic cars.

Best of Blog

Mersenne Primes and the Lucas–Lehmer Test

Introduction

A Mersenne prime is a prime number of the form Mp = 2p – 1, where the exponent p must also be prime. These primes take their name from the French mathematician and religious scholar Marin Mersenne, who produced a list of primes of this form in the first half of the seventeenth century. It has been known since antiquity that the first four of these, M2 = 3, M3 = 7, M5 = 31 and M7 = 127, are prime.
Academics

New Wolfram Language Books

We are constantly surprised by what fascinating applications and topics Wolfram Language experts are writing about, and we're happy to again share with you some of these amazing authors' works. With topics ranging from learning to use the Wolfram Language on a Raspberry Pi to a groundbreaking book with a novel approach to calculations, you are bound to find a publication perfect for your interests.
Best of Blog

Using Mathematica to Simulate and Visualize Fluid Flow in a Box

The motion of fluid flow has captured the interest of philosophers and scientists for a long time. Leonardo da Vinci made several sketches of the motion of fluid and made a number of observations about how water and air behave. He often observed that water had a swirling motion, sometimes big and sometimes small, as shown in the sketch below. We would now call such swirling motions vortices, and we have a systematic way of understanding the behavior of fluids through the Navier–Stokes equations. Let's first start with understanding these equations.
Computation & Analysis

Optimizing Instrumentation Design with Mathematica: Neutron Polarizer

Using Mathematica, Wolfgang Schmidt, a scientist at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science, designed new neutron optical components to improve the efficiency of one of the most powerful spectrometers available for neutron scattering research. Mathematica's flexible programming language allowed Schmidt to quickly write new programs and verify lengthy calculations for simulations he needed to investigate for spectrometer upgrades, which included a neutron polarizer. With Mathematica, he could test and visualize various parameters that helped him design the polarizer and optimize its performance.
Computation & Analysis

Tapping Into the Power of GPU in Mathematica

Last week we posted an item about Wolfram Research's partnership with NVIDIA to integrate GPU programming into Mathematica. With NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference 2010 starting today, we thought we would share a little more for those who won't be at the show to see us (booth #31, for those who are attending). Mathematica's GPU programming integration is not just about performance. Yes, of course, with GPU power you get some of your answers several times faster than before---but that is only half the story. The heart of the integration is the full automation of the GPU function developing process. With proper hardware, you can write, compile, test, and run your code in a single transparent step. There is no need to worry about details, such as memory allocation or library binding. Mathematica handles it elegantly and gracefully for you. As a developer, you will be able to focus on developing and optimizing your algorithms, and nothing else. Here are a couple of examples to give you a taste of the upcoming feature.
Computation & Analysis

Mathematica and NVIDIA in Action: See Your GPU in a Whole Different Light

Wolfram Research is partnering with NVIDIA to integrate GPU programming into Mathematica. CUDA is NVIDIA's performance computing architecture that harnesses modern GPU's potential. The new partnership means that if you have GPU-equipped hardware, you can transform Mathematica's computing, modeling, simulation, or visualization performance, boosting speed by factors easily exceeding 100. Now that's fast! Afraid of the programming involved? Don't be. Mathematica's new CUDA programming capabilities dramatically reduce the complexity of coding required to take advantage of GPU's parallel power. So you can focus on innovating your algorithms rather than spending time on repetitive tasks, such as GUI design.