Images of Research: Innovation for the global good

Shedding light on communication security

Category: Digital connections

A 3D graphic representation of orbital angular momentum showing a circle of peaks going from red at the base through the spectrum of light, to magenta at the top

Digital communication has never been more prevalent but security remains a real issue with the ability of secure coding – encryption – to be unlocked by sophisticated software and powerful computers. Quantum physics can create completely secure communications but is much slower than current encryption methods. Strathclyde and Glasgow physicists are exploring orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light (pictured); with its infinite alphabet, it could be key to creating fast, unhackable communications.

Entrant: Aidan Arnold , Physics

Copyright: Aidan Arnold

Funding: Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2013-386) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), grant number: EP/M506643/1

Collaborators: Rachel Offer (PhD student - generated the experimental data)


Entrant profile: