"Quantum Random Number Generators and their Applications in Cryptography"

Mario Stipcevic, ECE Department, UC Santa Barbara

June 5th (Tuesday), 3:00pm
Engineering Science Building (ESB), Rm 2001

Random number generators (RNG) are an important resource in many areas: cryptography (both quantum and classical), probabilistic computation (Monte Carlo methods), numerical simulations, industrial testing and labeling, hazard games, scientific research etc. Because today’s computers are deterministic, they can not create random numbers unless complemented with a physical RNG. Randomness of a RNG can be defined and scientifically characterized and measured. Especially valuable is the information-theoretic provable RNG which, at state of the art, seem to be possible only by harvest of randomness inherent to certain (simple) quantum systems and such a generator we call Quantum RNG (QRNG). On the other hand, current industry standards dictate use of RNGs based on free running oscillators (FRO) whose randomness is derived from electronics noise present in logic circuits and which, although quantum in nature, cannot be strictly proven. This approach is currently used in FPGA and ASIC chips. I compare weak and strong aspects of the two approaches for use in cryptography and in general and also give an alternative definition of randomness, discuss usage of single photon detectors in realization of QRNGs and provide several examples where QRNG can significantly improve security of a cryptographic system.

About Mario Stipcevic:

photo of mario stipcevic Mario Stipcevic received B.S degree in Physics from University of Zagreb, Croatia in 1991 and started to work at Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI) in Zagreb. As a Visiting Scientist at LAPP, Annecy, France he worked at CERN's experiments ATLAS and NOMAD and in 1994 received Ph.D. in particle physics by Universite de Savoie, Chambery, France. In 2005, under support of World Bank, Stipcevic constructed one of the world's first quantum random number generators resulting in a patent and innovation awards. He is the leader of the Group for quantum information (QI) at RBI since 2007. Received Fulbright scholarship in yr. 2010/2011 for work in Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Computing at UC Santa Barbara. Published 59 current contents cited papers, 3 patents and held 6 invited lectures on international conferences. Member of CERN, Croatian Physical Society and Optical Society of America.

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