Research ArticlePHYSICS

Quantum key distribution with correlated sources

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Science Advances  09 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 37, eaaz4487
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz4487


In theory, quantum key distribution (QKD) offers information-theoretic security. In practice, however, it does not due to the discrepancies between the assumptions used in the security proofs and the behavior of the real apparatuses. Recent years have witnessed a tremendous effort to fill the gap, but the treatment of correlations among pulses has remained a major elusive problem. Here, we close this gap by introducing a simple yet general method to prove the security of QKD with arbitrarily long-range pulse correlations. Our method is compatible with those security proofs that accommodate all the other typical device imperfections, thus paving the way toward achieving implementation security in QKD with arbitrary flawed devices. Moreover, we introduce a new framework for security proofs, which we call the reference technique. This framework includes existing security proofs as special cases, and it can be widely applied to a number of QKD protocols.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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