June 26, 2013

High-Efficiency Photon Source Brings Day of Reckoning Closer for a Famous Quantum Test

Physicists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) are edging ever closer to getting really random.

Their work—a source that provides the most efficient delivery of a particularly useful sort of paired photons yet reported*—sounds prosaic enough, but it represents a new high-water mark in a long-term effort toward two very different and important goals, a definitive test of a key feature of quantum theory and improved security for Internet transactions.