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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant to Christian Schaffner (UvA/CWI) for his research on quantum cryptography. Schaffner is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam's Institute of Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and also has a part-time agreement at the Algorithms & Complexity research group at CWI. The Vidi grant is part of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme run by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). It is one of the most prestigious grants for researchers in the Netherlands, enabling researchers who have already spent several years doing postdoctoral research to develop their own innovative lines of research, and to appoint one or more researchers.
Cryptography in the Quantum World
Quantum cryptography can provide security. Its best-known achievement is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), which allows the generation of cryptographic keys based on the laws of quantum mechanics. However, modern cryptography studies a broad variety of other scenarios such as identification, secure collaboration, electronic voting, etc. that go far beyond the task of key distribution. As a main topic of this VIDI project, Schaffner will investigate the area of position-based quantum cryptography. The goal of position-based cryptography is to use the geographical position as a cryptographic credential. The combination of relativistic constraints (assuring that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light) and quantum mechanical effects (such as the impossibility to perfectly copy a quantum state) enables entirely new cryptographic applications like sending a message in such a way that it can only be read at a particular geographic position. Taken as a whole, this project will make cryptography ready for the quantum age and improve the privacy of individuals, companies and public administration.