October 11, 2010

From William Treurniet:

Re: Physicists claim first true random number generation (Sept. 13): It would be nice if the authors explained how the random numbers generated by their new process have a randomness different from those obtained using radioactive decay or quantum tunneling in diodes. Devices based on the latter have been around for more than 30 years. The new process is an interesting way to generate true random numbers, but the author appears to be wrong in saying that "This year, for the first time, scientists have built devices that ex­ploit quan­tum phys­ics to gen­er­ate what they say are real ran­dom num­bers".

(Editor's note: the above statement may indeed be wrong, as we have not investigated these earlier reports. We do often (admittedly) base our statements on the opinion of scientists. In the present case, the article title may have been more accurate a summary of the situation than the statement cited by Mr. Treurniet. We have modified the questionable statement to clarify that this is based on the claims of the scientists in the latest studies).


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