from the everything-is-better-with-lasers dept.
"An Ottawa physicist is using laser light to create truly random numbers much faster than other methods do, with obvious potential benefits to cryptography: 'Sussman's Ottawa lab uses a pulse of laser light that lasts a few trillionths of a second. His team shines it at a diamond. The light goes in and comes out again, but along the way, it changes. ... It is changed because it has interacted with quantum vacuum fluctuations, the microscopic flickering of the amount of energy in a point in space. ... What happens to the light is unknown — and unknowable. Sussman's lab can measure the pulses of laser light that emerge from this mysterious transformation, and the measurements are random in a way that nothing in our ordinary surroundings is. Those measurements are his random numbers.'"
"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem."
-- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982