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One-Shot Memory Could Become Reality

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: January 16, 2014 07:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It cannot be overstated just how important information security can be for some situations, which is why so many researchers are working on highly advanced security tools. One potential tool many have sought after is one-shot memory, which can only be read once and is thus protected from adversaries. Thanks to quantum mechanics, researchers at NIST have successfully devised a means to possibly create one-shot memory in the future.

It is not surprising that quantum mechanics would be involved with one-shot memory as many quantum systems are very sensitive to measurement. The Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment was developed to demonstrate this fact, as observing the cat risks killing it. For the memory, the researchers suggest using conjugate coding, which enables a pair of messages to be encoded onto quantum bits, but only one can be read. The catch for creating such memory though has been that entanglement, a quantum mechanical phenomenon, can theoretically allow someone to read both messages. Some systems resist entanglement though, and the researchers have now provided a mathematical proof that if entanglement cannot be achieved, an adversary will not be able to steal the information.

Currently this research exists just as basic research, so we cannot expect one-shot memory to be securing our data any time soon. There has been a lot of work in the field though, so it will almost certainly be applied at some point.

Source: NIST



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