Abstract

We report the demonstration of a new type of true random number generator based on the random distribution of the time interval between photons from a single-photon-like source. The experimental setup is simple and robust against mechanical and temperature disturbances. With improved detector resolution and efficiency, the random number bit rate could be increased by more than an order of magnitude to satisfy practical requirements.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. J. Havel, “An electronic generator of random sequence,” in Transactions, Second Prague Conference on Information Theory (Academic, 1961), pp. 219–229.
  2. D. I. Golenko, “Generation of uniformly distributed random variables on digital computers,” in The Monte Carlo Method, Y. A. Shreider, ed. (Pergamon, 1966), pp. 257–305.
  3. W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. J. Marron, A. J. Martino, G. M. Morris, “Generation of random arrays using clipped laser speckle,” Appl. Opt. 25, 26–30 (1986).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. G. M. Morris, “Optical computing by Monte Carlo methods,” Opt. Eng. 24, 86–90 (1985).
    [CrossRef]
  7. A. J. Martino, G. M. Morris, “Optical random number generator based on photoevent location,” Appl. Opt. 30, 981–989 (1991).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. W. Dultz, E. Hildebrandt, “Optical random-check generator based on the individual photon statistics at the optical beamsplitter,” PTC patentWO 98/16008 (June1998).
  9. A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).
  10. G. J. Rarity, M. C. P. Owens, R. P. Tapster, “Quantum random-number generation and key sharing,” J. Mod. Opt. 41, 2435–2444 (1994).
    [CrossRef]
  11. T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  12. J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).
  13. H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  14. H. Q. Ma, L. A. Wu, “A method and device to generate true random numbers,” Patent200410091373.0 (November2004) (in Chinese).
  15. P. G. Coleman, “The distortion of TAC-MCA spectra by the measuring process,” J. Phys. E 12, 590–592 (1979).
    [CrossRef]
  16. J. von Neumann, “Various techniques used in connection with random digits,” Applied Mathematics Series No. 12 (U.S. National Bureau of Standards, (1951), pp. 36–38.

2004 (1)

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2001 (1)

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

2000 (2)

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

1994 (1)

G. J. Rarity, M. C. P. Owens, R. P. Tapster, “Quantum random-number generation and key sharing,” J. Mod. Opt. 41, 2435–2444 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1991 (1)

1987 (1)

W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1986 (2)

Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Marron, A. J. Martino, G. M. Morris, “Generation of random arrays using clipped laser speckle,” Appl. Opt. 25, 26–30 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1985 (1)

G. M. Morris, “Optical computing by Monte Carlo methods,” Opt. Eng. 24, 86–90 (1985).
[CrossRef]

1979 (1)

P. G. Coleman, “The distortion of TAC-MCA spectra by the measuring process,” J. Phys. E 12, 590–592 (1979).
[CrossRef]

Achleitner, U.

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Bergquist, J. C.

W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Blatt, R.

Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chang, J. T.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Coleman, P. G.

P. G. Coleman, “The distortion of TAC-MCA spectra by the measuring process,” J. Phys. E 12, 590–592 (1979).
[CrossRef]

Dultz, W.

W. Dultz, E. Hildebrandt, “Optical random-check generator based on the individual photon statistics at the optical beamsplitter,” PTC patentWO 98/16008 (June1998).

Gisin, N.

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

Golenko, D. I.

D. I. Golenko, “Generation of uniformly distributed random variables on digital computers,” in The Monte Carlo Method, Y. A. Shreider, ed. (Pergamon, 1966), pp. 257–305.

Guinnard, L.

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

Guinnard, O.

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

Havel, J.

J. Havel, “An electronic generator of random sequence,” in Transactions, Second Prague Conference on Information Theory (Academic, 1961), pp. 219–229.

Hildebrandt, E.

W. Dultz, E. Hildebrandt, “Optical random-check generator based on the individual photon statistics at the optical beamsplitter,” PTC patentWO 98/16008 (June1998).

Hou, Y. X.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Hulet, R. G.

W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Itano, W. M.

W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Jennewein, T.

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Ji, L. L.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Liang, C.

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

Liao, J.

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

Ma, H. Q.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

H. Q. Ma, L. A. Wu, “A method and device to generate true random numbers,” Patent200410091373.0 (November2004) (in Chinese).

Marron, J.

Martino, A. J.

Morris, G. M.

Neuhauser, W.

Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Owens, M. C. P.

G. J. Rarity, M. C. P. Owens, R. P. Tapster, “Quantum random-number generation and key sharing,” J. Mod. Opt. 41, 2435–2444 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Pan, S. H.

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

Rarity, G. J.

G. J. Rarity, M. C. P. Owens, R. P. Tapster, “Quantum random-number generation and key sharing,” J. Mod. Opt. 41, 2435–2444 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Sauter, Th.

Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Stefanov, A.

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

Tapster, R. P.

G. J. Rarity, M. C. P. Owens, R. P. Tapster, “Quantum random-number generation and key sharing,” J. Mod. Opt. 41, 2435–2444 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Toschek, P. E.

Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

von Neumann, J.

J. von Neumann, “Various techniques used in connection with random digits,” Applied Mathematics Series No. 12 (U.S. National Bureau of Standards, (1951), pp. 36–38.

Wang, S. M.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Wei, Y. J.

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

Weihs, G.

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Weinfurter, H.

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Wineland, D. J.

W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wu, L. A.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

H. Q. Ma, L. A. Wu, “A method and device to generate true random numbers,” Patent200410091373.0 (November2004) (in Chinese).

Yao, D. C.

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

Zbinden, H.

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

Zeilinger, A.

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Zhang, D.

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Acta Phys. Sin. (1)

J. Liao, C. Liang, Y. J. Wei, L. A. Wu, S. H. Pan, D. C. Yao, “True random number generator based on a photon beamsplitter,” Acta Phys. Sin. 50, 467–472 (2001) (in Chinese).

Appl. Opt. (2)

Chin. Phys. Lett. (1)

H. Q. Ma, S. M. Wang, D. Zhang, J. T. Chang, L. L. Ji, Y. X. Hou, L. A. Wu, “A random number generator based on quantum entangled photon pairs,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 21, 1961–1964 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. Mod. Opt. (2)

A. Stefanov, N. Gisin, O. Guinnard, L. Guinnard, H. Zbinden, “Optical quantum random number generatior,” J. Mod. Opt. 47, 595–598 (2000).

G. J. Rarity, M. C. P. Owens, R. P. Tapster, “Quantum random-number generation and key sharing,” J. Mod. Opt. 41, 2435–2444 (1994).
[CrossRef]

J. Phys. E (1)

P. G. Coleman, “The distortion of TAC-MCA spectra by the measuring process,” J. Phys. E 12, 590–592 (1979).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Eng. (1)

G. M. Morris, “Optical computing by Monte Carlo methods,” Opt. Eng. 24, 86–90 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (2)

W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, R. G. Hulet, D. J. Wineland, “Radiative decay rates in Hg+ from observation of quantum jumps in a single ion,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2732–2735 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Th. Sauter, W. Neuhauser, R. Blatt, P. E. Toschek, “Observation of quantum jumps,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696–1698 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rev. Sci. Instrum. (1)

T. Jennewein, U. Achleitner, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, “A fast and compact quantum random number generator,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 1675–1679 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Other (5)

H. Q. Ma, L. A. Wu, “A method and device to generate true random numbers,” Patent200410091373.0 (November2004) (in Chinese).

J. von Neumann, “Various techniques used in connection with random digits,” Applied Mathematics Series No. 12 (U.S. National Bureau of Standards, (1951), pp. 36–38.

J. Havel, “An electronic generator of random sequence,” in Transactions, Second Prague Conference on Information Theory (Academic, 1961), pp. 219–229.

D. I. Golenko, “Generation of uniformly distributed random variables on digital computers,” in The Monte Carlo Method, Y. A. Shreider, ed. (Pergamon, 1966), pp. 257–305.

W. Dultz, E. Hildebrandt, “Optical random-check generator based on the individual photon statistics at the optical beamsplitter,” PTC patentWO 98/16008 (June1998).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Oscilloscope trace showing the random time of arrival of consecutive photons.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Experimental setup. LD, laser diode; ATT, attenuator; SFG, synthesized function generator; DG1 and DG2, delay generators; disk, discriminator; TAC, time-to-amplitude converter; MCA, multichannel analyzer; DAQ, data acquisition.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Schematic of the logical timing sequence. The delay time between the clock and detector output signals is shown to be 0.5 µs for convenience.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Typical distribution of photon counts as seen on the MCA.

Equations (1)

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P n = μ n e μ n ! ,

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