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Hi, my math HL EE topic is on the enigma machine, it's a cypher machine used in WW2 by the Germans. Right now, my research question is : ''What is the theoretical possible number of enigma configurations and why was it so hard to decode?''

I was wondering whether this research question is good enough, I feel like it is does not involve a lot of my own research, it seems as thought I could get the answer straight off the internet. But my math teacher recommended this RQ. What do you guys think about it?

Edited by nnyy1100

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While it's a good start, you will definitely need to go into more depth. The first part of the RQ can probably be solved easily with simple probability, as you mentioned there's quite a lot of information about the strengths and weaknesses for the second part too.

There are quite a few ways you could investigate it further though. Once thing that comes to mind is to consider improvements to the machine, since it was cracked eventually. You could look at how others improved these machines later on to, along with what influence the imperfect secrecy had, etc. In such cases you can actually analyse the methods and give your own conclusion, which is really what they are looking for in a Maths EE.

As a general note however, make sure that you include a lot of mathmatical content. There is quite a bit of number theory behind various methods and cracking them, so make sure to mention, prove and analyse them where relevant. I'd presume it may be somewhat challenging with a topic like that, but it is very important that you keep it in.

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