Quantum generator based on photon emission provides true random numbers over the Internet

July 27, 2007
July 27, 2007, Zagreb, Croatia--Researchers at the Ruder Boskovic Institute have developed and launched a novel Internet service providing online access to a true random-number generator based on photon emission.

July 27, 2007, Zagreb, Croatia--Researchers at the Ruder Boskovic Institute have developed and launched a novel Internet service providing online access to a true random-number generator based on photon emission. The range of applications of the service, called the quantum random-bit-generator service (QRBGS), spans fields as diverse as advanced scientific simulations, cryptographic data protection and security applications, and virtual entertainment (including online gaming and computer games).

The service is based on a quantum random-number generator developed and built two years ago by RBI researchers. The overwhelming majority of other random-number generators in use today don't actually provide true random numbers, but instead produce so-called "pseudo-random" numbers. They use various algorithms to pick the numbers from large precompiled databases of numbers obtained by, for example, rolling dice. Hence, anyone who has access to such a database from which the pseudorandom number is picked can accurately predict the next number that comes out of such generators. On the other hand, QRBG uses the inherently unpredictable quantum process of photon emission from a semiconductor and detection by the photoelectric effect to generate random numbers that are impossible to predict.

The QRBG device itself is located and operated at the RBI and is connected to the Internet through computer clusters and GRID networks. The QRBG service is free of charge to the academic and scientific communities.

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