Sunday, June 26, 2005

Problem Solving!


Woo hoo! I have just finished reading Dan Brown's 'Digital Fortress'! It was not as impressive as 'The Da Vinci Code', but boy, I feel so smug right now. Why?
Because I cracked the kill-code to abort the worm before the climax of the story. Yea, I am not making any sense. Simply put, I solved the puzzle before it was revealed. And it was a scientific problem at that. Proves that my 18 years of hard sciences training didn't go to waste despite my switch to social sciences in varsity.

The code I 'cracked':
Prime Difference Between Elements Responsible For Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A running log of my train of thoughts:
1. Atomic bombs are used.
2. Uranium is the element responsible for making the atomic bomb.
3. Difference? Hm...Uranium has two primary isotopes. U235 and U238....
4. Minus 235 from 238. Answer is 3.
5. 3 is a prime number. Ok, that single digit may well be the kill-code to abort worm virus.

Idiotically, I got the answer because I was plain lucky. Uranium is not the only element that can be used as a fuel for atomic bombs (plutonium can be used too). Nevertheless, I am really really gloating over my trivial accomplishment. Seems that my bouts of viral fever did not fry much of my grey matter. A consolation indeed!

Something I have learnt: Sometimes, the answer to the most complex questions lies in the fundamental concepts. Sometimes, the deeper we think, the murkier the waters become. Will write a short review for this book soon. Had better sleep for now!

Daily Trivia: The technical difference between atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs, is that they derive their energy from different nuclear processes; one from the fission of uranium, the other from the fusion of hydrogen. (check high school/ secondary textbooks for the concepts of nuclear fusion and fission).


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