[Beaker bubbles up] [Start of music] My name is Anne Broadbent. I’m a

professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the

University of Ottawa. I would like to introduce my team. Rabib Islam, Sébastien Lord, Supartha Podder and Daniel Puzzuoli. Quantum mechanics describes the way that

particles behave at the atomic level and physics tells us that at that level or

intuition completely breaks down. That is that there are quantum phenomena that

are really interesting to study and look at and that’s what we’re doing in our

research group. Conventional computers are used in our everyday lives and the

basic unit of information for these computers is the bit. It’s a discrete

state: it’s either 0 or 1. In contrast to this, in quantum computers the basic

level of information is called the qubit and this is in a continuum of states

between 0 and 1. Actually it’s in both states potentially

at the same time. This is called a superposition. So what our research team

is doing, we’re looking at quantum phenomena and trying to take advantage

of these for communication and information processing tasks. One of the

really cool things of quantum mechanics is that it predicts something called the

no-cloning theorem. According to this theorem it’s impossible to make two

perfect copies in general of an unknown quantum state. At first this sounds

really useless and annoying because our everyday intuition about copying

information doesn’t hold. For instance, it would not be possible to make a backup

copy of quantum information. But where some people see a challenge we see a new

opportunity. So we’re trying to take advantage of the no-cloning theorem and

other quantum phenomena to have more secure crypto systems which will allow

for more secure communication and more secure information processing. Quantum computers are computers that

process information at the quantum level. They are known to give access to

incredible computational power and to solve some problems efficiently by a

quantum methods and these solutions are more efficient than any conventional

computer could ever hope to achieve. So one of the quantum algorithms that is

known is the factoring algorithm; i.e. given a large number how could we

decompose it into its prime factors. The consequences of this quantum

algorithm are huge because most of current security that we use over the

Internet is based on the assumption that factoring numbers is difficult. So in the

advent of quantum computers and many experts believe that it’s just a matter

of time, we will have to completely retool our information infrastructure in

order to be secure against these quantum attacks.

Thus we urgently need to find a solution to the information security question in

the presence of quantum computers. And one solution, which already exists and

is already even implemented is quantum key distribution. This is a method to

securely distribute messages among parties on a network using quantum

information as the information carrier. Don’t get me wrong mathematics is very

much involved here. In fact, there are some profound mathematical results that

are used in the security analysis of the techniques. However, the underlying

assumption here would be a physical assumption, the correctness of quantum

mechanics, versus in the case of conventional computing a computational

assumption, the hardness of factoring. Another question that our team is

looking at is the question of delegating quantum computations. Here we imagine a

cloud quantum computing service that has a quantum computer that is accessible

remotely and the question is: Could users remotely access the service while

maintaining privacy of their data and of their algorithms? We’ve come up with

many solutions including solutions to verify the correctness of the

quantum computation. We’re also looking at problems of uncloneable encryption,

certified deletion, and many other consequences of the no-cloning theorem. Given the steady progress in building quantum computers we’re hoping that our

research will contribute to more secure digital society.