Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a fraud-proof method for authenticating a physical key, such as a credit card, using quantum mechanics. The method, known as Quantum-Secure Authentication, uses unique quantum properties to encode information in a way that prevents fraud.
A specific number of photons are prepared onto a surface creating a complex pattern where in a quantum environment a single photon can exist in multiple locations. As a laser is pointed at this source of information it will bounce around the nano particles to create the pattern required to authenticate the card. If a standard light is projected at the source the quantum properties will collapse, denying information to the attacker and preventing fraud. This method could be used in security, government, and automotive applications. The implementation of Quantum-Secure Authentication would be easily affordable with the use of readily available technology.
Read the full Journal Article: S. A. Goorden, M. Horstmann, A. P. Mosk, B. Škorić and P. W. H. Pinkse, “Quantum-Secure Authentication of a Physical Unclonable Key,” Optica, 1, 6, 421-424 (2014) dx.doi.org/10.1364/OPTICA.1.000421