The team have developed a way of generating very rapid single-photon light pulses. Each photon, or particle of light, represents a bit of binary code – the fundamental language of computing. These photons cannot be intercepted without disturbing them in a way that would alert the sender that something was amiss.
Transferring data using light passed along fibre optic cables has become increasingly common over the past decades, but each pulse currently contains millions of photons. That means that, in principle, a portion of these could be intercepted without detection.
Secure data is already encrypted, but if an ‘eavesdropper’ was able to intercept the signals containing details of the code then – in theory – they could access and decode the rest of the message.
Single photon pulses offer total security, because any eavesdropping is immediately detected, but scientists have struggled to produce them rapidly enough to carry data at sufficient speeds to transfer high volumes of data.
In a new study, published in Nature Nanotechnology, the Sheffield team have employed a phenomenon called the Purcell Effect to produce the photons very rapidly. A nanocrystal called a quantum dot is placed inside a cavity within a larger crystal – the semiconductor chip. The dot is then bombarded with light from a laser which makes it absorb energy. This energy is then emitted in the form of a photon.
Placing the nanocrystal inside a very small cavity makes the laser light bounce around inside the walls. This speeds up the photon production by the Purcell Effect. One problem is that the photons carrying data information can easily become confused with the laser light.
The Sheffield researchers have overcome this by funnelling the photons away from the cavity and inside the chip to separate the two different types of pulse.
In this way, the team have succeeded in making the photon emission rate about 50 times faster than would be possible without using the Purcell Effect. Although this isn’t the fastest photon light pulse yet developed, it has a crucial advantage because the photons produced are all identical – an essential quality for many quantum computing applications.
Mark Fox, Professor of Optical Physics at the University of Sheffield, explains: “Using photons to transmit data enables us to use the fundamental laws of physics to guarantee security. It’s impossible to measure or ‘read’ the particle in any way without changing its properties. Interfering with it would therefore spoil the data and sound an alarm.”
He added: “Our method also solves a problem that has puzzled scientists for about 20 years – how to use this Purcell Effect to speed up photon production in an efficient way.
“This technology could be used within secure fibre optic telecoms systems, although it would be most useful initially in environments where security is paramount, including governments and national security headquarters.”
Learn more: Faster photons could enable total data security
The Latest on: Secure communications
via Google News
The Latest on: Secure communications
- GET Group partners with Secure Planet to offer advanced facial recognition solutions on April 17, 2019 at 12:20 pm
Secure Planet is an I3 affiliated company which provides ... optimal identity management solutions,” added Gerald Hubbard, director of marketing and communications for GET Group North America. […]
- Consolidated Communications Launches Next-Generation Cloud Secure on April 17, 2019 at 9:24 am
Enhancements provide businesses with greater bandwidth throughput, new security review to assess risk MATTOON, Ill., April 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL), a ... […]
- GET Group North America and Secure Planet Partner to Deliver Advanced Facial Recognition Solutions on April 17, 2019 at 7:05 am
“Secure Planet has led the pack in terms of developing a facial recognition algorithm that provides the highest degree of accuracy, quality and performance,” said Gerald Hubbard, Director of Marketing ... […]
- Sweden’s Engaging Care raises €2.5M seed to scale patient communication and improve outcomes on April 17, 2019 at 5:28 am
Its first product, launched late last year, is a communications platform that allows healthcare providers to share information and interact with patients in a secure way. The SaaS is already ... […]
- LyteLoop plans dozens of smallsats for data-in-motion secure storage service on April 17, 2019 at 5:26 am
The goal is to meet the growing demand for secure data storage without building ... we will have vacuum-worthy prototypes of six optical communications subsystems,” Harlev said. […]
- OpenVPN and JumpCloud Partner to Bring Secure Cloud-based… on April 17, 2019 at 3:26 am
BOULDER, Colo., and PLEASANTON, Calif. (PRWEB) April 17, 2019 OpenVPN, the leading provider of next-gen secure and scalable communication services, and JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service® ... […]
- OpenVPN and JumpCloud Partner to Bring Secure Cloud-based Authentication and User Management to VPN on April 17, 2019 at 3:00 am
BOULDER, Colo., and PLEASANTON, Calif., April 17, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- OpenVPN, the leading provider of next-gen secure and scalable communication services, and JumpCloud, the first ... […]
- Secure Hospital Communications Market Emerging Trends and Top Key Vendors to Watch- Imprivata, Spok, Tigertext, CellTrust in 2017-2025 on April 16, 2019 at 6:34 pm
Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/16/2019 -- Secure Hospital communications provide real-time communications to assist rapid decision making required in the hospitals, by minimizing delayed interactions ... […]
- India, US Conduct Anti-Submarine Drills Using New Secure Link for P-8 Aircraft on April 16, 2019 at 2:51 pm
After signing the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) last September, India and the US implemented the deal with their first ever secure communication link set up earlier ... […]
via Bing News