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Communicating with almost nothing - the future's secure

Dr Robert Young, Physics, Lancaster University

Tuesday 18 December 2012, 1550-1615
Management School Building

Protecting communication against eavesdropping has remained an unsolved problem since the dawn of information exchange. Nowadays, public systems tend to base their encryption on mathematical complexity, but this is vulnerable to intelligent attacks, and the ever-increasing power of computers.

Recent advances in physics have offered a novel solution to this problem. Quantum physics tells us that we cannot measure a system without altering it; so if ultra-weak pulses of light are used to communicate a secret, then we can detect the presence of someone snooping, through the unintentional changes they must make.

In future the security of all information exchange could be guaranteed by basic principles of physics. In this talk I'll discuss quantum information, and explain the work that's going on at Lancaster to build the components required to create a quantum internet.