Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Sounds of silence' proving a hit: World's fastest random number generator

Date:
April 13, 2012
Source:
The Australian National University
Summary:
Researchers in Australia have developed the fastest random number generator in the world by listening to the 'sounds of silence'. The researchers have tuned their very sensitive light detectors to listen to vacuum -- a region of space that is empty.

Random number generator.
Credit: Image courtesy of The Australian National University

Researchers at The Australian National University have developed the fastest random number generator in the world by listening to the 'sounds of silence'.

The researchers -- Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul and Dr Syed Assad from the ANU ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology -- have tuned their very sensitive light detectors to listen to vacuum -- a region of space that is empty.

Professor Lam said vacuum was once thought to be completely empty, dark, and silent until the discovery of the modern quantum theory. Since then scientists have discovered that vacuum is an extent of space that has virtual sub-atomic particles spontaneously appearing and disappearing.

It is the presence of these virtual particles that give rise to random noise. This 'vacuum noise' is omnipresent and may affect and ultimately pose a limit to the performances of fibre optic communication, radio broadcasts and computer operation.

"While it has always been thought to be an annoyance that engineers and scientists would like to circumvent, we instead exploited this vacuum noise and used it to generate random numbers," Professor Lam said.

"Random number generation has many uses in information technology. Global climate prediction, air traffic control, electronic gaming, encryption, and various types of computer modelling all rely on the availability of unbiased, truly random numbers.

"To date, most random number generators are based on computer algorithms. Although computer generated random numbers can be useful, knowing the input conditions to the algorithm will lead to predictable and reproducible output, thus making the numbers not truly random. To overcome this issue, random number generators relying on inherently random physical processes, such as radioactive decay and chaotic behaviour in circuits, have been developed."

Dr Thomas Symul added: "Vacuum noise is one of the ultimate sources of randomness because it is intrinsically broadband and its unpredictability is guaranteed by quantum theory. Because of this, we are able to generate billions of random numbers every second."

Dr Syed Assad said the team has linked their table-top laser experiment directly to the internet. "We can easily push this technology even faster but currently we have already reached the capacity of our Internet connection," he said.

The random number generator is online and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime around the world at http://photonics.anu.edu.au/qoptics/Research/qrng.php Moreover, anyone who downloaded live random numbers from the ANU website will get a fresh and unique sequence of numbers that is different from all other users.

In collaboration with QuintessenceLabs, an Australian quantum technology company, the ANU team is now looking into commercialising this device. The team hopes to have this technology miniaturised down to the size of a thumb drive.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Australian National University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Australian National University. "'Sounds of silence' proving a hit: World's fastest random number generator." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413161235.htm>.
The Australian National University. (2012, April 13). 'Sounds of silence' proving a hit: World's fastest random number generator. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413161235.htm
The Australian National University. "'Sounds of silence' proving a hit: World's fastest random number generator." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413161235.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) eBay's StubHub is caught up in an international cyber crime ring stretching from North America to Europe. Conway G. Gittens reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins