Feeds

Aussie boffins patent single-photon generator

One at a time, please

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A group of Australian scientists has developed a new technique for producing single photons at room temperature, paving the way for real-world quantum cryptography. The research team already holds a worldwide patent on their invention, and has secured a AUD3.3m ($2.6m) grant from the Victorian government to develop their technology.

Scientists have known for some time that a laser beam can stimulate a diamond to emit single photons. Working from this starting point, Dr James Rabeau, a research fellow in the University of Melbourne's School of Physics, built a device that would send those single photons down an optical fibre.

Rabeau and co. used chemical vapour deposition to grow diamond crystals on the end of a section of optical fibre. The idea is that the laser will strike the diamond, stimulating the emission of a photon which will travel down the optical fibre as part of a message.

Quantum cryptography relies on the particle-like behaviour of light to secure transmission of data. Using the technology, two users can exchange secret keys, safe in the knowledge that no one could possible have eavesdropped on their 'conversation'.

Each bit of the key is encoded on a single photon. Intercepting that photon changes its polarisation, yielding no useful information to the eavesdropper and alerting the parties exchanging keys to the interception.

Rabeau's breakthrough is to have developed a cheap and reliable way of generating single photons, something he and his team says has not been possible up until now. However, as we reported last month, Toshiba has developed a single-photon-emitting LED, and numerous other products are available. ®

Related stories

Quantum crypto moves out of the lab
Quantum crypto comes to Blighty
Holy Grail of crypto to arrive in three years, say UK boffins

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.