Classical versus quantum bit. (a) lassical bit: If we put the ball in a classical box, the color of the ball that pops out is the same as the color we put in. (b) Qubit: If we put the ball in a quantum box and open the wrong door, the color of the ball that comes out is random.

When information is transmitted in microscopic systems, such as single photons (single light particles) or atoms, its information carriers obey quantum rather than classical physics. This oers many new possibilities for information processing, since it is possible to invent novel information processes prevented by classical physics. Quantum cryptography is the most mature technology in the new eld of quantum information processing. Unlike cryptographic techniques where the security is based on unproven mathematical assumptions, the security of quantum cryptography is based on the laws of physics. Today it is developed with an eye towards a future in which cracking of classical public-key ciphers might become practically feasible. For example, a quantum computer might one day be able to crack today’s codes….

Read more: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1108/1108.1718v1.pdf

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