Quantum cryptography is a rapidly developing field that draws from a number of disciplines, from quantum optics to information theory to electrical engineering. By combining some fundamental quantum mechanical principles of single photons with various aspects of information theory, quantum cryptography represents a fundamental shift in the basis for security from numerical complexity to the fundamental physical nature of the communications channel. As such, it promises the holy grail of data security: theoretically unbreakable encryption. Of course, implementing quantum cryptography in real broadband communications systems poses some unique challenges, including generating single photons, distilling random keys from the quantum key distribution process, and maintaining security at both the theoretical and practical level. Overall, quantum cryptography has a place in the history of secret keeping as a novel and potentially useful paradigm shift in the approach to broadband data encryption.
Table of Contents
Elements of Classical Cryptography
The Quantum Mechanics of Photons
Fundamentals of Quantum Key Distribution
Information Theory and Key Reconciliation
Components for Broadband QKD
A Survey of QKD Implementations
Conclusion - QKD in the Marketplace
About the Author(s)Daniel Rogers
, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Dr. Daniel J. Rogers is a staff scientist in the Applied Information Sciences Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. Prior to joining APL, Dr. Rogers worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology developing technologies for broadband quantum key distribution. He holds a Doctorate in Chemical Physics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Georgetown University.