Classical computers struggle to crack modern encryption. But quantum computers using Shor’s Algorithm make short work of RSA cryptography. Find out how.

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Previous Episode
How to Break Cryptography

The Mathematics Behind Quantum Computers

Additional Resources:
Scott Aaronson’s Blog (Great Intro to Shor’s Alg.)::

Shor’s Original Paper::

Lectures on Shor’s Algorithm::

Decrypting secure messages often involves attempting to find the factors that make up extremely large numbers. This process is too time consuming for classical computers but Shor’s Algorithm shows us how Quantum Computers can greatly expedite the process.

Written and Hosted by Kelsey Houston-Edwards
Produced by Rusty Ward
Graphics by Ray Lux
Made by Kornhaber Brown (

Thanks to Spiros Michalakis for helpful discussions and feedback.

Comments answered by Kelsey:

Neon Bull

Bhargav R