Photon arrival time quantum random number generation

Michael A. Wayne, Evan R. Jeffrey, Gleb M. Akselrod, Paul G. Kwiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present an efficient random number generator based on the randomness present in photon emission and detection. The interval between successive photons from a light source with Poissonian statistics is separated into individual time bins, which are then used to create several random bits per detection event. Using a single-photon counter and FPGA-based data processing allows for a cost-efficient and convenient implementation that outputs data at rates of roughly 40 Mbit s-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Modern Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Photon counting
  • Quantum cryptography
  • Quantum random number generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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