Last modified: 08/27/03 11:56:50 AM
The Future of Cryptography Under Quantum Computers.
Technical Report TR2002-425,
Department of Computer Science,
Senior Honors Thesis. Advisor: Sean Smith.
Cryptography is an ancient art that has passed through many paradigms,
from simple letter substitutions to polyalphabetic substitutions to
rotor machines to digital encryption to public-key cryptosystems.
With the possible advent of quantum computers and the strange
behaviors they exhibit, a new paradigm shift in cryptography may be on
the horizon. Quantum computers could hold the potential to render
most modern encryption useless against a quantum-enabled adversary.
The aim of this thesis is to characterize this convergence of
cryptography and quantum computation.
We provide definitions for cryptographic primitives that frame them in
general terms with respect to complexity. We explore the various
possible relationships between BQP, the primary quantum complexity
class, and more familiar classes, and we analyze the possible
implications for cryptography.