Quantum Key Distribution for the undergraduate curriculum.
Phehlukwayo, Samukelisiwe Purity.
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Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is one of the technological applications of quantum mechanics. The technology allows two users to securely establish an unbreakable key. The key is used to encrypt and decrypt sensitive information such as online banking and emails. This technological application has matured in an industry as it provides real world implementation. It offers a provably secure key based on the principles of quantum mechanics. There are products that are available that can be used to implement this technology. This study demonstrates the implementation of the QKD process for the undergraduate physics curriculum. We outline the procedure of QKD in a convenient way for students to follow and understand. To this end, a comprehensive manual has been developed to enable undergraduate students to learn the foundations of QKD. Students will gain knowledge that using quantum mechanical properties, two remote parties can securely establish a communication by exchanging keys which can then be used as an encryption. We present the QKD system such as the id 3000 as a learning tool in the physics 3rd-year laboratory, to introduce undergraduate students to applications in quantum information science. We demonstrate a typical experiment which undergraduate students can perform using the id 3000 system in the 3rd physics laboratory. Our vision is to see students exploring quantum mechanics in more depth and learning practical work alongside theories taught in the curriculum.