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Quantum Cryptography and Communication Networks


Quantum Cryptography is an interdisciplinary field, involving quantum physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering.

Since the discovery of the factorization algorithm by P. Shor, Quantum Key Distribution has become the only forthcoming safe alter native to the no-more secure public-key cryptosystems, which are nowadays adopted in financial/commercial transactions and even for political/strategic communications.

Recently, Quantum Cryptography has been extended to the powerful domain of Continuous Variable (CV) systems, like the radiation modes of the electromagnetic field, where more efficient quantum protocols can now be constructed.

Even if these CV protocols better exploit the potentialities of Quantum Optics, they are still not robust enough for implementation in a real communication network, where all noise effects, due to the environment or to potential eavesdroppers, are plausibly high.

The central aim of this proposal is the engineering of a novel generation of CV protocols, whose global performances are improved enough to enable an efficient and secure key distribution among the nodes of a future quantum-protected communication network.

The first important step in this plan is the construction of CV protocols that improve the security thresholds of the existing ones, and two complementary approaches are proposed for this task. Both the approaches make a more clever use of the uncertainty principle, the fundamental underlying security principle, at the cost of an increase in the complexity of t he protocol.

On one hand, this overhead can be classical, as given by the use of suitable classical encoding/decoding stages; on the other, it can be quantum, by resorting to a suitable multiple quantum communication between the trusted parties.

Improving security and minimizing the needed quantum/classical resources will therefore enable the construction of a reliable and scalable model of a quantum-protected communication network.

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