(Science.AMU.edu) Spending on cyber security is skyrocketing. Current methods for safe-guarding information don’t protect us from the biggest security threat looming around the corner: the inevitable breakdown of all encryption systems with quantum computing power.
To find a solution, ANU researchers are looking to the realm of quantum physics. And: laser beams. Professor Ping Koy Lam from the ANU Research School of Physics, explaining what happens when you go beyond the scale of an atom and into the quantum realm.
Professor Lam is less interested in the “spooky” aspects of quantum mechanics and more interested in harnessing a measurable quantum phenomenon: randomness. “One thing we do in our labs is create random numbers using a laser beam.”
Professor Lam’s laser beam proves that you don’t need a quantum computer to produce unbreakable encryption. But you do need some help from quantum mechanics. Light could allow for truly random numbers to be sent across the globe by harnessing the peculiar behaviour of quantum particles such as the photons of a laser beam.
“If you turn on a laser beam, and if you measure it with high accuracy, you can record fluctuations in the brightness of light,” he says. “What we do is encode random numbers on the beam of a laser light, and we send that laser light to a receiver.”