Quantum Randomizer

Douglas Edric Stanley


One of the interesting effects of physicalization would naturally be the further entanglement of algorithmic machines and cosmic phenomena, whether that be relative, quantic, membranic, or whatever else might come down the theoretical pike. Of course computers are already heavily entangled with various physical properties; it’s what makes them work. But to directly entangle an abstract algorithmic process to a cosmic phenomenon, now that’s cool.

Slashdot has just linked to the Quantum Random Bit Generation Service which will generate random numbers for you over the internet using hardware that « relies on intrinsic randomness of the quantum physical process of photonic emission in semiconductors and subsequent detection by photoelectric effect ». In other words, these are kick-ass random numbers that count up to 11.

So far there is a C++ library, a command-line tool (both will compile under g++), and some other systems/protocols that I don’t really know or work with. It also looks like some web interfaces are in development as well.

Quantum Random Bit Generator Service

Original Comments:

2007-07-20 03:21:22


A few years back, the guys at SGI created a random number generator based on images from a webcam shooting an array of lava lamps. It was cumbersome and a little silly (the lava lamps had to be run on timers to prevent overheating), but it truly generated random numbers.

Anyhow, that lavarand has been replaced by a new lavarnd that is much simpler and can be built by anyone. It basically consists of a webcam CCD placed in a dark enclosure. The noise from the chip is sampled and run through various algorithms to arrive at a random number.