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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 21 — Oct. 10, 2011
  • pp: 20665–20672

True random numbers from amplified quantum vacuum

M. Jofre, M. Curty, F. Steinlechner, G. Anzolin, J. P. Torres, M. W. Mitchell, and V. Pruneri  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 21, pp. 20665-20672 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.020665


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Abstract

Random numbers are essential for applications ranging from secure communications to numerical simulation and quantitative finance. Algorithms can rapidly produce pseudo-random outcomes, series of numbers that mimic most properties of true random numbers while quantum random number generators (QRNGs) exploit intrinsic quantum randomness to produce true random numbers. Single-photon QRNGs are conceptually simple but produce few random bits per detection. In contrast, vacuum fluctuations are a vast resource for QRNGs: they are broad-band and thus can encode many random bits per second. Direct recording of vacuum fluctuations is possible, but requires shot-noise-limited detectors, at the cost of bandwidth. We demonstrate efficient conversion of vacuum fluctuations to true random bits using optical amplification of vacuum and interferometry. Using commercially-available optical components we demonstrate a QRNG at a bit rate of 1.11 Gbps. The proposed scheme has the potential to be extended to 10 Gbps and even up to 100 Gbps by taking advantage of high speed modulation sources and detectors for optical fiber telecommunication devices.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(030.0030) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence and statistical optics
(230.0230) Optical devices : Optical devices
(270.0270) Quantum optics : Quantum optics

ToC Category:
Quantum Optics

History
Original Manuscript: July 8, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 8, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: September 1, 2011
Published: October 3, 2011

Citation
M. Jofre, M. Curty, F. Steinlechner, G. Anzolin, J. P. Torres, M. W. Mitchell, and V. Pruneri, "True random numbers from amplified quantum vacuum," Opt. Express 19, 20665-20672 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-21-20665


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