Single-Photon Beam = Unstealable Key
Australian scientists believe they have developed an unbreakable information code to stop hackers, using a diamond, a kitchen microwave oven and an optical fibre.
Researchers at Melbourne University used the microwave to "fuse" a tiny diamond, just 1/1000th of a millimeter, onto an optical fibre, which could be used to create a single photon beam of light which they say cannot be hacked.
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Hmm. Will it really be any more hack-resistent than ordinary optical fiber? If a hacker can access the fiber in the first place, it would seem he could likewise intercept the "single photon" data stream, read that data, then reconstruct the stream and retransmit it just as the special fiber system initially did. The real question, though, is how robust such a system would be in the first place... the article is silent about the meaningful physics involved. Any information system dependent on a single stream of photons (or electrons) for communication has virtually no inherent redundancy, hence it becomes extremely dependent on perfect, lossless data transmission for its accuracy - and there just aren't very many perfect data systems known to man (any?). The advantageous side effect of all those "billions of photons" (or electrons) that inadvertantly support hacking is that they provide lots of data redundancy should some of them get lost along the way - as they always do in real-world data systems.