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Codes, encryption and quantum physics


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These days our life is utterly dependent on IT. Security of those IT systems is vital to us. Sir Peter Knight FRS, will talk about the brave new world of Quantum Computing and Qubits, which herald a new era, unparalleled, in computer security.

Date and Time

10 April 2014 - 19:00-20:45


Portsmouth, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Joint Event.

About this event

Secret messaging has a long history: from ancient Greeks using the scytale for encryption and author identification, through Caesar substitution codes to enigma and Lorenz codes and internet protocols such as https. These all rely on complexity and difficulty rather than proven security, and we have struggled for generations to perfect the perfect code. The only proven secure code is the one time pad, but this is unwieldy and vulnerable to operator error. Quantum physics has the potential to crack industry encryption standards through the development of quantum computers, although this is a long-term ambition rather than a near-term realization. But quantum physics may have a role in generating secure one time pads and provable security. The quantum world allows information to be encoded and manipulated in ways quite different from classical physics. Parallelism and entanglement enable us to undertake information processing tasks peculiar to the quantum world: secure encryption, quantum teleportation and algorithmic computational speedup. I will describe progress towards such quantum processors using quantum bits (qubits”).


Professor Sir Peter Knight FRS

Sir Peter Knight is Senior Fellow in Residence at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre at Chicheley Hall and immediate past-President of the Institute of Physics. He retired at the end of September 2010 as Deputy Rector (Research) at Imperial College where he was responsible for the College’s research strategy and a member of the Imperial College Management Board and Council. He retains his Professorship of Quantum Optics at Imperial. His research centres on theoretical quantum optics, strong field physics and especially on quantum information science. Peter Knight is a Past-President of the Optical Society of America. He is a Thomson-ISI “Highly Cited Author”. He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2005 for his work in optical physics.  He was chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council at the UK Ministry of Defence until 2010 and a member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council until 2012. He continues to be involved in advising government on science issues. Knight was Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK National Physical Laboratory until the end of 2005.  He has won a number of prizes and awards including the Thomas Young Medal and Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society and the Ives Medal of the OSA.


18:30  Refreshments and networking
19:00  Lecture starts
20:45  Finish  (approximate time)

Reasons to attend

If you are a computing professional, involved in IT security, interested in a potentially powerful application of quantum physics or a member of the general public with an interest in science and computing then this lecture is one not to miss.

Additional information

This event is presented jointly by the IET Solent Network and the Portsmouth and District Physical Society.

Contact: Solent Main Network Events Committee Chairman

Download the poster for this event.

Registration information

Advance registration is required.


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