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[FYI] Going to war over prime numbers


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Going to war over prime numbers

Revelations from the secret world of spying raise academic questions
for both history and mathematics

Duncan Campbell

Twenty five years ago, saving the world from a nuclear holocaust might
have depended on the ability or inability of mathematicians to
factorise the products of very large prime numbers. But the
fundamental theories needed, although secretly discovered by and known
to mathematicians inside intelligence organisations at the time, were
just not available even to bomb-makers. The world was less secure as a


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