Random numbers have many uses - today they are important for solid cryptography. Most random numbers are pseudo-random ... they aren't truly random, but can be good enough. Problems arise when they aren't and that turns out to be a big issue in security these days.

There are many natural ways to produce them as many processes in nature are random. Here is a neat one that makes use of the fact that most light sources produce photons randomly (a flood of them to be sure, but random when you look closely enough). It uses a ccd array and a bit of cleverness to generate useful numbers - and it can generate radom bits at a few million per second using a software approach to the analysis. Probably good enough for most purposes.

**Quantum random number generation on a mobile phone **

Bruno Sanguinetti, Anthony Martin, Hugo Zbinden, and Nicolas Gisin

Group of Applied Physics, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Quantum random number generators (QRNGs) can significantly improve the security of crypto- graphic protocols, by ensuring that generated keys cannot be predicted. However, the cost, size, and power requirements of current QRNGs has prevented them from becoming widespread. In the meantime, the quality of the cameras integrated in mobile telephones has improved significantly, so that now they are sensitive to light at the few-photon level. We demonstrate how these can be used to generate random numbers of a quantum origin.

## is this the trinity moment for american mathematicians?

The NSA and mathematicians...

10:14 in General Commentary, math, society and technology | Permalink | Comments (0)