A Survey of the Prominent Quantum Key Distribution Protocols

Mart Haitjema, mart.haitjema@wustl.edu


This paper provides an overview of quantum key distribution targeted towards the computer science community. A brief description of the relevant principles from quantum mechanics is provided before surveying the most prominent quantum key distribution protocols present in the literature. In particular this paper describes the BB84 protocol and its many variants as well as Eckert's approach through quantum entanglement. A brief discussion of some of the issues arising in practical implementations are also presented including privacy amplification and the photon number splitting attack.

Keywords: Quantum Cryptography, Quantum Key Distribution, QKD, survey, BB84, Eckert, Bennet, Brassard, photon number splitting attack, PNS, privacy amplification.

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