To Catch A Fiber Optic Spy, Look At A Single Photon

Absolute security for e-mail and other communications flowing over fiber-optic networks is almost at hand. Protecting traffic routed via telecom satellites could take a bit longer, but also seems attainable, says Andrew J. Shields, a senior scientist at Toshiba Research Europe Ltd. (TREL), the Cambridge (England) research arm of Japan's Toshiba Corp. On May 10, at the Conference on Lasers & Electro-Optics in San Francisco, Shields revealed that his team at TREL has developed a chip that can detect individual photons, or particles, of light.

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