Fastest random number generator ever uses quantum fluctuations

Illustration of quantum vacuum fluctuations

Giroscience/Science Photo Library

Using the inherent quantum flickering of empty space, researchers have figured out how to generate random numbers at an unprecedented rate. The record-breaking method could be used to enhance cryptographic security in large data centres.

Modern cryptography relies on the production of random numbers, which are used as keys to encrypt the vast stores of information produced by governments and businesses. Computer algorithms are often used to generate seemingly random numbers, but a sophisticated enough attacker could figure out what predetermined steps a computer is using …

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