Quantum cryptography creeping closer to reality

Researchers from Toshiba and Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory are reporting a breakthrough they say could make quantum cryptography a reality in the near-term. The researchers outline their work in a paper called "Practical gigahertz quantum key distribution based on avalanche photodiodes" that's included in the April edition of the New Journal of Physics.

The gist of the research is that they've come up with a much less complicated way (a "decoy protocol" generated using a laser and a compact detector) to support quantum cryptography, one that does not rely on cryogenic cooling  or complicated optical configurations. Quantum cryptography is designed to exploit the quantum mechanical behavior of photons to distribute encryption keys.

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