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Quantum Breakthrough Heralds New Generation of Perfectly Secure Messaging

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posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 06:26 PM
Hi ATS denizens!

Time for a physics refresher so we can ponder the news that has been released in Thread's Title.

First is quantum mechanics (QM). It is different because at such a small distance, called Planck's constant, h the world of the large, everyday, matter we apprehend becomes strange and appears to follow a different set of rules.

The world of the "solar system atom" some us were taught was transformed into a world of "matter waves" where a formula called a "wave function" describes where things like protons and neutrons and electrons can, and to the best of our knowledge, reside. The probabilities of where these atomic pieces have been described and studied for over a hundred years.

A great read on QM is John Gribbin's, In Search of Schrodinger's Cat.

Not too tough. There are various portions of an atom or a particle of light that can be described using QM. A particle can have a magnetic moment, electron polarization, momentum, energy, etc.

The QM concept of "entanglement" gets thrown around (QE). You create an entangled state when you take, say a light particle, called a photon, and split it in two. Now you have a photon that is described by the same wave function. If you shoot that wave function off to some other place, the receiver can create another photon with the exact same wave function. That is called, "quantum teleportation" and has been in the news in the not distant past.

You can also use QE to perform the duties of encryption. The process is the same for QE but this time you make a set of particles, send them off, then have the receiver perform measurements to verify that all the particles on one side is the same on the sending side. Since when you take a measurement of entangled particle, you change the property. If you do not match up, somebody measured the wave function and you have re-send new QE pairs (quantum key).

I know that some people understand things better when explained by others, so for a different explanation see Swanne's ATS thread: Physics We Can All Understand - Part 3: Quantum Entanglement.

The problem with QM encryption is you have to do all this sending of keys around, QE starts to fall apart in a process called "decoherence".

What if you could send QE keys and the message all at once??

[If they can send the key, then they] can use the remaining photons to transmit data using the normal process of quantum communication, which is perfectly private.

And that’s exactly what Zhang and [Co.,] have done. [going] around a two-kilometer loop of optical fiber and carrying out the checks as quickly as possible.


Of course, various improvements are needed to make this kind of system commercially viable. But the work is an important stepping stone toward entirely quantum-based secure communication. Banks, governments, and military agencies will be watching eagerly.

MIT Technology Review, Quantum Breakthrough Heralds New Generation of Perfectly Secure Messaging. (Warning: You have limited number of free viewing per month!)

From, - Experimental long-distance quantum secure direct communication.

Using just ordinary fiber optics, like the stuff running under the ocean creating the internet, they sent both the message and quantum key around a 2 km. loop. They call it "Quantum Secure Direct Communication, (QSDC)", and it is a world's first.

The race will be to extend this method to all communications by increasing the distance.

This matters because when a universal quantum computer is built, other methods of sending secure transmission will be in the cross-hairs of being broken. One of the first algorithms devised for a quantum computer was Shoar's algorithm which breaks the dominant RSA encryption used by the internet so we can all buy and rent shows from Netflix and Amazon, pay our taxes, use a debit card, etc.

I know it is geeky tech stuff, but I like when something new arrives that proves, "yes, it can be done"!
edit on 1-11-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add warning about

posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 06:29 PM

Quantum Breakthrough Heralds New Generation of Perfectly Secure Messaging page: 1

Great now none of the secrets will ever leak and there will be way more secrecy!

posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 06:37 PM
a reply to: SeaWorthy

the government doesn't use normal messaging they have their own private coms networks, that's why all the hub bub about hillary not using approved communications Bradley E. Manning had access to some of these systems and that's why he was tried for treason.

believe me they have VERY secure systems in place

posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 06:40 PM
a reply to: SeaWorthy

That may be an issue. But remaking the whole internet would way worse.

The phone companies are struggling to update the pieces they kicked and screamed for the right to manage. Now imagine the entire of the internet being frozen because the whole world is fighting each other over the cost of upgrading.

posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 07:01 PM
Serious browser issues!, Oct. 13, 2017 - How do you build the next-generation internet?.

The next arms race is a quantum device one.

Looks like they are winning unless the US has been doing something they are not talking about.

posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 07:53 PM

the Chinese made a big deal about their satellite entanglement success but we did it almost over 10 years ago

posted on Nov, 1 2017 @ 08:32 PM
a reply to: penroc3

The real quantum stuff I call “magic” because it may as well be!

Looking over the lit so far, this has been done in circuits with quantum memory. Stepping out onto fiber optics is the news it seems. Even the BBC article from last month does not mention this as a possibility.


Back to Game 7! And drowning my sorrows,

posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 03:17 AM

Most people don't understand that today you can build a fully secure connection with blockchain. You can prepare for large quantum computers with 1024 bit hashing algorithm or more. The paradox is that you can build an unbreakable voting app for example. This takes more or less 150 lines of code. It's actually very easy. Hacking is impossible.

posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 05:04 AM
Oh, if only hillary had this tech for sending emails, instead of becoming all entangled herself.

posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 02:06 PM

originally posted by: Village Idiot
Oh, if only hillary had this tech for sending emails, instead of becoming all entangled herself.

Appropriate username.

posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 01:06 AM
a reply to: GetHyped

So is yours

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