American researchers have developed a method for generating numbers guaranteed to be random by quantum mechanics. A method for generating numbers “guaranteed to be random” using photons or particles of light based on quantum mechanics. Random numbers are employed on a large scale to encrypt data in electronic networks.
Researchers said such numbers generated with software formulas or physical devices could be predicted, undermining a system’s security. “It’s hard to guarantee that a given classical source is really unpredictable,” NIST mathematician Peter Bierhorst said. “Our quantum source and protocol is like a fail-safe. We’re sure that no one can predict our numbers.”