Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quantum broadband becomes reality


The first high-speed network link that is so secure it is theoretically unbreakable has been created, thanks to quantum physics.

A team at Toshiba Research Europe in Cambridge, UK, has sent encrypted data at over 1 megabit per second along 50 kilometres of optical fibre. That's fast enough to stream video.

Secure links like Toshiba's involve one user sending a secret "key" to the other, encoded into the quantum properties of a string of single photons. Quantum mechanics ensures that any attempt to intercept this quantum key will change it, revealing the attack.

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