IFISC (UIB-CSIC) researcher Ingo Fischer, together with Daniel J. Gauthier (Department of Physics, Ohio State University), has published an article in the Perspectives section of the journal Science. The authors analyze and put into context different cutting-edge optical devices for random number generation. One of these devices, a laser with a large number of optical modes, is presented in the same issue of the journal.
The article, entitled "High-speed harvesting of random numbers", highlights the importance of random numbers in the context of cryptography or blockchain and emphasizes how many of today’s random numbers generated are actually pseudo-random. The authors discuss the importance of fast true random number generators, such as the one realized by Marangon et al. which works thanks to the spontaneous emission of photons in a device consisting of two interfering laser beams. The currently published study by Kim et al. extends the potential speed of random number generation by increasing the generation speed and realizing many parallel generation channels using a particularly designed laser. Fischer and Gauthier finally discuss, how such so called broad-area lasers could find applications beyond random number generation, in particular as integrated photonic circuits for ultra-fast information processing.
Fischer, I.; Gauthier, Daniel J., Science Vol. 371, Issue 6532, pp. 889-890 (2021). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg5445