Abstract

We demonstrate a viable source of unbiased quantum random numbers whose statistical properties can be arbitrarily programmed without the need for any postprocessing such as randomness distillation or distribution transformation. It is based on measuring the arrival time of single photons in shaped temporal modes that are tailored with an electro-optical modulator. We show that quantum random numbers can be created directly in customized probability distributions and pass all randomness tests of the NIST and Dieharder test suites without any randomness extraction. The min-entropies of such generated random numbers are measured close to the theoretical limits, indicating their near-ideal statistics and ultrahigh purity. Easy to implement and arbitrarily programmable, this technique can find versatile uses in a multitude of data analysis areas.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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