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Crack the code of superspy science fun!
Make your own spy sunglasses
* Write messages with invisible ink
* Hook up a secret alarm, and much more!
Discover how spies use science to keep–or uncover–top secrets.Learn how to go under cover, master Morse code, and even builddevices to see and hear through walls! These and dozens of otherfun-filled activities give you an inside look at the science behindspy gadgets and tricks of the trade. All the activities arecompletely safe and can be done with everyday stuff from around thehouse.
From the Publisher
Spy Science in Action
Words in the Way
Secret agents know that one of the best ways to send a secret message is to use a code. A code, also called a cipher, is a method of changing words and sentences in order to hide their meanings. A code is often a system of symbols in which each symbol represents something else, usually a letter or a word. The symbols of a code can be letters, numbers, words, or even pictures.
When you change a message into a code, you encode or encipher it. When you translate an encoded message back into its regular form, you decode or decipher it.
A message written in code or cipher is called a cryptogram. Cryptology is the study of making and breaking codes.
There is a secret message in the letter below.
To decode the hidden message, use the pencil and paper to write down the third letter in the first word and then the third letter after every punctuation mark.
Divide the letters into words to read the secret message.
Sheet of Paper
Test Your Spy Science Skills and Decode This Letter:
The punctuation marks in the letter are the comma (,) and the period (.). If you write down the third letter after each punctuation mark, you get the message “Contact is a double agent.”
The code used in this activity tells you that every third letter after a punctuation mark is important. The person receiving the message must know the code in order to read the secret message. This type of code writing is difficult because you must place words with specific letters at specific places in each sentence to spell out your message. It can be very hard to spell out the message and make the letter sound natural at the same time.
However, this is a difficult code to break. If the letter is written well, an enemy agent may not realize it contains a secret message. Even if the agent realizes there is a hidden message, if he or she doesn’t know the code, it may be impossible to figure out which words spell out the message.