Picture excerpt from http://enigmamuseum.com/4sale/forsale.htm#m2094sale
I was reading about the WWII German Enigma Machine and thought one of the rotating gears reminded me of a project I wrote about on Constructors Corner. Years back I wrote about a “Circular Switch”. This switch was supposed to create a machine that would make a tape loop for children’s posters. (You know a loop that is made by wrapping masking tape around your finger and joining the sides.) This switch now has a new purpose. The gears of the Enigma Machine are similar to a circular switch.
What if we used the math work on ConstructorsCorner of “Prime Revolutions” and made an electro-mechanical gear. This gear could be of any size and act as a unit circle. The number of revolutions and the actual radius would determine N. The machine would have a counter (a meter of revolutions). The “contact” or in the case of the circular switch, only one revolving cylinder would be needed. It would revolve freely around till it carved out a revolution of area N. I envision this cylinder as having a track that “unlocks” as the cylinder turns and locks the position when the value is reached. It would be mechanical. However electricity is needed to “spin” the switch in its thousands of revolutions.
So you would basically have a one gear Enigma machine. I admit the description of the Circular Switch is confusing in many parts. (I wrote several years ago.) However if this idea was in WWII I think cryptography would have advanced in a different way. We would not be using Prime products or logarithms. Instead geometry would be used.
What is your take on this idea?