Quantum Key Distribution

Quantum mechanics allow safe messaging.

Brandon H., Contributer

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In this generation of advancing technology, online safety is an important thing. New quantum technology has allowed safer cryptography to be developed.

Cryptography is a method of scrambling the words of a letter to make it seem like gibberish. This process is done in many ways. Cryptography is used when you use your electronic device without you realizing it. It protects you and your private information while you use the internet.

Quantum key distribution is a new method of providing safe communication. It relies on the fact that in quantum mechanics, a system can detect when something in it is measured, which changes the outcome of the system. Quantum key distribution usually relies on entangled protons. Even if an eavesdropper intercepts the photons, they can’t be perfectly copied. This leads to changes that can be detected in the photons, so the two communicators are able to discover if the key is safe, or whether someone has eavesdropped on their exchange. If it is safe, it is used to encrypt and decrypt a message.

Quantum key distribution is provably safe, because of all the different quantum laws that apply to entangled particles and photons. One of them is the no-cloning theorem. This law states that nothing can make a perfect copy of an unknown state. A photon can have a state of horizontal, vertical, right to left diagonal, and left to right diagonal. However, a particle’s state can only be copied if the possibilities of the original particle are orthogonal. That means the state has to be horizontal or vertical to be copied perfectly, meaning that photons can’t be perfectly copied, which helps the security of quantum key distribution.

This new method of encryption is the safest public-key distribution method developed today. Many quantum laws help it stay safe, giving it protection nothing else at the present can match. This new protection may help lower the rate of online crime when it is introduced to the public.

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