From banking to the battlefield, we guard our secrets with digitally encrypted messages. Today’s encryption systems are based on factoring algorithms—calculations too difficult for classical computers to crack. But a quantum computer would be exponentially faster, leaving even the most secure information vulnerable. Quantum cryptography pioneer Artur Ekert shared the latest efforts to develop unbreakable codes. The program also explored how private industry and the government are fighting cyber crime with experts from the FBI and IBM.
The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premier public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and well-informed members of the general public.
This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
Photograph: Jon Smith