Your Peace of Mind is our Commitment

Contact Us English Recent Articles

Diamonds are a Cryptographer's Best Friend

First published: 21st April 2009

The University of Melbourne has developed the world's first commercially-available Single Photon Source. The product has been announced by Quantum Communications Victoria (QCV), the premier facility for Quantum Communication technology in Australia, located in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne.

The system works by growing microscopic crystals of diamond directly onto the tips of optical fibres, so that single photons emitted from the diamond crystals are channelled directly into the fibre. The device, called SPS 1.01, is designed for simple operation and it utilises an FC fibre-optic port for single photon output. It is housed in a convenient 19 inch rack-mount box. The possible applications include quantum communications, quantum optics, quantum computing, quantum metrology, optical calibration, microscopy and optical sensing.

OCV CEO Dr. Shane Huntington explained, "As an initial application the Single Photon Source will be integrated into existing commercial Quantum Cryptosystems, drastically improving their performance and providing one hundred percent secure telecommunications." Quantum entanglement potentially allows secure transmission of encryption keys. Also, quantum computing could render existing mathematical encryption systems obsolete.

However, strong encryption has been likened to a mile-high stake by Bruce Schneier: it is very difficult to get over, but an attacker will find it easy to go around. xkcd has also made the same point.

More Information