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Compton Scattering of Annihilation Photons as a Short Range Quantum Key Distribution Mechanism

Authors: Roman Novak, Matjaz Vencelj


The angular distribution of Compton scattering of two quanta originating in the annihilation of a positron with an electron is investigated as a quantum key distribution (QKD) mechanism in the gamma spectral range. The geometry of coincident Compton scattering is observed on the two sides as a way to obtain partially correlated readings on the quantum channel. We derive the noise probability density function of a conceptually equivalent prepare and measure quantum channel in order to evaluate the limits of the concept in terms of the device secrecy capacity and estimate it at roughly 1.9 bits per 1 000 annihilation events. The high error rate is well above the tolerable error rates of the common reconciliation protocols; therefore, the proposed key agreement protocol by public discussion requires key reconciliation using classical error-correcting codes. We constructed a prototype device based on the readily available monolithic detectors in the least complex setup.

Keywords: Compton Scattering, Quantum Key Distribution, gamma-ray polarization, quantumcryptography

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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