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The key to security

Quantum key distribution is the secret to totally secure communications. By David Boothroyd.

Quantum physics is, without doubt, the most successful theory science has yet produced, passing test after test for much of the last 100 years. It is the bedrock of all science and the idea that it could be fundamentally wrong is absurd. Yet it depicts a reality so bizarre that it verges on the incomprehensible. That is why one of its most famous proponents, physicist Richard Feynman, said that anybody who claimed they understood it clearly had not.

Feynman is generally credited with being the first to suggest that it might be possible to exploit the weird properties of the quantum world – such as entanglement and superposition – to create computers that would perform operations conventional computers could never achieve.

Attempts to do just that have been under way for several years and progress in building quantum computers is being made. But even the most enthusiastic proponents of quantum computing accept it will be many years – if not decades – before useful, commercial devices are in action.
But that is not the case with another area where the behaviour of the quantum world can be exploited: ultra secure communications. Quantum based communication systems have the potential to offer the greatest level of security possible – not just very secure, but totally proof against effective interception.

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Author
David Boothroyd

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