Quantum key distribution without sending a quantum signal
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Quantum Key Distribution is a quantum communication technique in which random numbers are encoded on quantum systems, usually photons, and sent from one party, Alice, to another, Bob. Using the data sent via the quantum signals, supplemented by classical communication, it is possible for Alice and Bob to share an unconditionally secure secret key. This is not possible if only classical signals are sent. While this last statement is a long standing result from quantum information theory it turns out only to be true in a non-relativistic setting. If relativistic quantum field theory is considered we show it is possible to distribute an unconditionally secure secret key without sending a quantum signal, instead harnessing the intrinsic entanglement between different regions of space–time. The protocol is practical in free space given horizon technology and might be testable in principle in the near term using microwave technology.
New Journal of Physics
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Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified