Tag Archives: Quantum Computing

What Happens When Quantum Physics Meets Cryptography?


By Paulina Gomez – In today’s world of ever-increasing security threats and breaches, encryption is a common technique used to protect critical information from getting into the wrong hands. In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding a plaintext message in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. The result of this process is encrypted information, also known as ciphertext. But how is this done exactly? The plaintext message is transformed using an algorithm (or cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, which is referred to as the key.

Today’s state-of-art secure communications use advanced mathematics to protect in-flight data leveraging highly secure algorithms, such as in Ciena’s WaveLogic Encryption solution. Even though many cryptographic algorithms used today are publicly available, such as the popular Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), they are very difficult to crack in a reasonable amount of time given the computational power of today’s computers. In fact, the keys used in modern cryptography are so large that breaking the AES-256 standard would require “fifty supercomputers that could check a billion billion (1018) AES keys per second [and] would, in theory, require about 3×1051 years.”

The field of Quantum Cryptography is an area of security research and development focused on the introduction of new technologies that will offer more resistance to the computing power of quantum computers. Quantum cryptography draws its strength from the unpredictable nature of photons – the smallest particles in the universe. more> https://goo.gl/FTh77p

Updates from GE

Physicists Are ‘Breeding’ SchröDinger’s Cat, And It Could Reveal The Limits of The Quantum World
By Bec Crew – Physicists have figured out how to ‘breed’ Schrödinger’s cat – an object in a quantum superposition of two states with opposite properties – to produce enlarged versions that could one day reveal the limits of the quantum world.

If they can continue to breed their ‘cats’ even bigger, the experiment could finally reveal the exact point at which objects switch between classical and quantum physics – the divide between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds that physicists have been chasing for decades.

The original Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment states that if you put a live cat in an explosion-proof box with a bomb, until you open the box, you’ll have no idea if the bomb exploded and the cat died. Or maybe the bomb didn’t explode and the cat is still alive.

From our perspective, as long as the box is shut, the cat is occupying two realities. It’s both dead and alive, because we can’t confirm which one, but we know it can’t be neither.

This isn’t just a hypothetical question – in quantum physics, being in two different states at the same time is known as a superposition state, and it’s the entire basis of quantum computing, which is set to revolutionise how we process data in the future. more> https://goo.gl/XMFMB6

Researchers make headway in quantum information transfer

R&D – Fiber optics has made communication faster than ever, but the next step involves a quantum leap€”literally. In order to improve the security of the transfer of information, scientists are working on how to translate electrical quantum states to optical quantum states in a way that would enable ultrafast, quantum-encrypted communications.

“There’s this big effort going on in science now to construct computers and networks that work on the principles of quantum physics,” says lead author Jörg Bochmann, a postdoctoral scholar in UCSB‘s Dept. of Physics. “And we have found that there actually is a way to translate electrical quantum states to optical quantum states.” more> http://tinyurl.com/pxqgucb

Single-photon emitter for quantum cryptography

By Ann Steffora Mutschler – For quantum cryptography to work, it’e2’80’99s necessary to encode the message’e2’80rdblquote which could be a bank password or a piece of military intelligence, for example’e2’80rdblquote just one photon at a time. That way, the sender and the recipient will know whether anyone has tampered with the message.par
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University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated a simpler, more efficient single-photon emitter that can be made using traditional semiconductor processing techniques. more> http://tinyurl.com/d7pd5tj

Quantum Cryptography Secures the Electrical Grid

By Cabe Atwell – The variability of renewable sources are mainly caused by weather fluctuation, but can also be complicated by their long-distance location from heavily populated areas. This uncertainty is handled by grid management systems that properly allocate available renewable energy sources when available, but also quickly switches the energy supply to conventional reserves when a deficit occurs; a similar method is employed for energy excesses. To safeguard the grid’s management system, scientists hope to employ the latest encrypted data security measure — quantum cryptography.par
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A team of researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully demonstrated the use of the new technology to safeguard data transmission. Quantum cryptography exploits the use of physics, rather than mathematical methods, to safely transmit data over long distances. more> http://tinyurl.com/ckp3o3x

Quantum computing with recycled particles

A harmonic oscillator in classical mechanics (...

A harmonic oscillator in classical mechanics (A-B) and quantum mechanics (C-H). In (A-B), a ball, attached to a spring, oscillates back and forth. (C-H) are six solutions to the Schrödinger Equation for this situation. The horizontal axis is position, the vertical axis is the real part (blue) or imaginary part (red) of the wavefunction. (C,D,E,F), but not (G,H), are stationary states (energy eigenstates), which come from solutions to the Time-Independent Schrödinger Equation.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

R&D Magazine – Using photons as the particles, the University of Bristol team constructed a quantum optical circuit that recycled one of the photons to set a new record for factoring 21 with a quantum algorithm–all previous demonstrations have factored 15.

Anthony Laing, who led the project, says, “Quantum computers promise to harness the counterintuitive laws of quantum mechanics to perform calculations that are forever out of reach of conventional classical computers. Realizing such a device is one of the great technological challenges of the century.” more> http://tinyurl.com/8mwszds

Is Quantum Computing real?

SLIDE SHOW

Image @Wikipedia

By Julie Sartain – What is quantum computing? One simple definition is that quantum computers use qubits (or quantum bits) to encode information. However, unlike silicon-based computers that use bits which are zeroes or ones, qubits can exist in multiple states simultaneously. In other words, a qubit is a bit of information that has not yet decided whether it wants to be a zero or a one.

In theory, that means that quantum systems can produce simultaneous processing of calculations; in essence, true parallel systems. more> http://tinyurl.com/3p3rxlo