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Quantum Theory, Relativity and Cryptography

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The goal of cryptography is to control access to information. For example, we may want a secret message to be readable by selected allies but not by adversaries, or an encrypted prediction to be unveiled only if we choose to supply a key. In recent decades, we have discovered how to use fundamental physical laws to guarantee cryptographic security. Quantum cryptography exploits the distinctive properties of information encoded in quantum systems, while relativistic cryptography uses the fact that information cannot be sent faster than light speed. I will show how some simple but perfectly secure cryptosystems can be built using these principles and describe the current state of the art of physics-based cryptography.

About the speaker: Adrian Kent is a British theoretical physicist, Professor of Quantum Physics at the University of Cambridge, member of the Centre for Quantum Information and Foundations, and Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His research areas are the foundations of quantum theory, quantum information science and quantum cryptography. He is known as the inventor of relativistic quantum cryptography.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Physics Society series.

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