Research Areas

Fundamental tools and applications

Quantum mechanics enables fundamental new cryptographic rules previously impossible in classical cryptography. For example, the rules of quantum mechanics dictate that a quantum system cannot be observed without being disrupted. This means that the very nature of quantum mechanics can be used to protect quantum communications.

  • Discovering and developing assumptions that would allow for computationally secure quantum-safe primitives
  • Quantum algorithms for the computational problems underlying proposed “post-quantum” cryptography
  • “Unconditionally” or “information theoretically” secure “classical” tools that remain secure against quantum adversaries
  • Fundamentally new cryptographic primitives not possible in a classical paradigm that are enabled by quantum technologies

Implementation of tools

Developing and applying quantum technology is an important step in creating cryptographic tools for the future. Large-scale deployment of quantum cryptography devices and other quantum technologies will require collaboration between mathematicians, physicists and engineers.

  • Achieving global distances for quantum cryptography
  • Improving the performance of quantum cryptography technologies
    • Faster processing of photon signals, developing new error correcting codes to improve key rates, etc.
  • Developing secure physical implementations of quantum devices, and developing objective methods for certifying they meet appropriate standards
  • Efficient implementation of “post-quantum” classical cryptography

Deploying and integrating quantum-safe systems

By gaining a deeper understanding of how quantum cryptography and conventional cryptography interact and combine, systems resistant to quantum technologies can be developed and integrated into a larger cryptographic tools. This knowledge will allow us to recognize how to develop secure larger systems, such as global multi-user quantum networks.

  • Proof methods for guaranteeing security of systems using new quantum-safe tools
    • Developing a deeper understanding of how the security guarantees of QKD interact with the provable security guarantees of conventional cryptography, and what practical assurances are offered when these pieces are combined
  • Achieving global quantum communication networks with multi-user connectivity
  • New tools and protocols to optimize network performance without compromising security