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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17302

Title: Quantum Cryptography: From Theory to Practice
Authors: Ma, Xiongfeng
Advisor: Lo, Hoi-Kwong
Department: Physics
Keywords: Quantum
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: Quantum cryptography or quantum key distribution (QKD) applies fundamental laws of quantum physics to guarantee secure communication. The security of quantum cryptography was proven in the last decade. Many security analyses are based on the assumption that QKD system components are idealized. In practice, inevitable device imperfections may compromise security unless these imperfections are well investigated. A highly attenuated laser pulse which gives a weak coherent state is widely used in QKD experiments. A weak coherent state has multi-photon components, which opens up a security loophole to the sophisticated eavesdropper. With a small adjustment of the hardware, we will prove that the decoy state method can close this loophole and substantially improve the QKD performance. We also propose a few practical decoy state protocols, study statistical fluctuations and perform experimental demonstrations. Moreover, we will apply the methods from entanglement distillation protocols based on two-way classical communication to improve the decoy state QKD performance. Furthermore, we study the decoy state methods for other single photon sources, such as triggering parametric down-conversion (PDC) source. Note that our work, decoy state protocol, has attracted a lot of scientific and media interest. The decoy state QKD becomes a standard technique for prepare-and-measure QKD schemes. Aside from single-photon-based QKD schemes, there is another type of scheme based on entangled photon sources. A PDC source is commonly used as an entangled photon source. We propose a model and post-processing scheme for the entanglement-based QKD with a PDC source. Although the model is proposed to study the entanglement-based QKD, we emphasize that our generic model may also be useful for other non-QKD experiments involving a PDC source. By simulating a real PDC experiment, we show that the entanglement-based QKD can achieve longer maximal secure distance than the single-photon-based QKD schemes. We propose a time-shift attack that exploits the efficiency mismatch of two single photon detectors in a QKD system. This eavesdropping strategy can be realized by current technology. We will also discuss counter measures against the attack and study the security of a QKD system with efficiency mismatch detectors.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17302
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Physics - Doctoral theses

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