Messages for extra-terrestrial civilisations

Yesterday, 3rd of May, 2009,  Austrian physicists announced that a breakthrough in next-generation quantum cryptography could allow encrypted messages to be bounced off satellites.

A team from Austria’s Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) managed to send entangled photons 144 kilometres (90 miles) between the Spanish islands of Las Palmas and the Balearics.

The test was a success and the IQOQI team said it was now feasible to send this kind of unbreakable encrypted communication through space using satellites.

Quantum cryptography it is used to send streams of light particles (photons), making it entirely secure, as any eavesdropping would leave traces and immediately be detected.

In quantum cryptography, photons are used as the key for the encrypted communication –  just as mathematical formula are used in conventional cryptography.


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