Hub partners University of York and Toshiba Research Europe Ltd (TREL) Laboratories, based at Cambridge, are offering a fully funded EPSRC PhD studentship for research into quantum communication networks. The project will research the technology and applications for quantum communications that go beyond simple point to point networks. It will investigate methods for distributing quantum keys between arbitrary locations in different types of multi-nodal network, as well as develop applications exploiting network based key distribution.
Most work to date on quantum communications has focused on key distribution. Digital signatures are another very important cryptographic primitive used to protect electronic data from forgery. This project will develop GHz quantum communication hardware to implement new protocols for digital signatures, the security of which is based on the laws of nature. These are based upon sharing quantum correlations between three parties: Alice, Bob and Charlie. The quantum correlations can then be used by Alice to sign messages sent to Bob, the authenticity of which can be verified by Charlie and cannot be tampered with. The technology developed in the project will be implemented in the UK Quantum Network (UKQN) being set up by the Quantum Communications Hub. The UKQN comprises metropolitan quantum networks in Cambridge and Bristol that are connected by a backbone quantum link via London.