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The Future of Cryptography Under Quantum Computers
Marco A. Barreno
Dartmouth TR2002-425


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.

Note: This paper was written as a senior honors thesis with advisor Sean W. Smith.

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   Marco A. Barreno, "The Future of Cryptography Under Quantum Computers." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2002-425, July 2002.

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