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Title: Physical cryptographic verification of nuclear warheads

Abstract

How does one prove a claim about a highly sensitive object such as a nuclear weapon without revealing information about the object?This paradox has challenged nuclear arms control for more than five decades. We present a mechanism in the form of an interactive proof system that can validate the structure and composition of an object, such as a nuclear warhead, to arbitrary precision without revealing either its structure or composition. We introduce a tomographic method that simultaneously resolves both the geometric and isotopic makeup of an object. We also introduce a method of protecting information using a provably secure cryptographic hash that does not rely on electronics or software. These techniques, when combined with a suitable protocol, constitute an interactive proof system that could reject hoax items and clear authentic warheads with excellent sensitivity in reasonably short measurement times.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development (NA-22)
Contributing Org.:
aLaboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139; Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Lab. for Nuclear Security and Policy
OSTI Identifier:
1264781
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1367519; OSTI ID: 1367533
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0002534
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Journal Volume: 113 Journal Issue: 31; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; isotopic tomography; nuclear weapons; disarmament; verification

Citation Formats

Kemp, R. Scott, Danagoulian, Areg, Macdonald, Ruaridh R., and Vavrek, Jayson R.. Physical cryptographic verification of nuclear warheads. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1603916113.
Kemp, R. Scott, Danagoulian, Areg, Macdonald, Ruaridh R., & Vavrek, Jayson R.. Physical cryptographic verification of nuclear warheads. United States. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1603916113
Kemp, R. Scott, Danagoulian, Areg, Macdonald, Ruaridh R., and Vavrek, Jayson R.. Mon . "Physical cryptographic verification of nuclear warheads". United States. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1603916113.
@article{osti_1264781,
title = {Physical cryptographic verification of nuclear warheads},
author = {Kemp, R. Scott and Danagoulian, Areg and Macdonald, Ruaridh R. and Vavrek, Jayson R.},
abstractNote = {How does one prove a claim about a highly sensitive object such as a nuclear weapon without revealing information about the object?This paradox has challenged nuclear arms control for more than five decades. We present a mechanism in the form of an interactive proof system that can validate the structure and composition of an object, such as a nuclear warhead, to arbitrary precision without revealing either its structure or composition. We introduce a tomographic method that simultaneously resolves both the geometric and isotopic makeup of an object. We also introduce a method of protecting information using a provably secure cryptographic hash that does not rely on electronics or software. These techniques, when combined with a suitable protocol, constitute an interactive proof system that could reject hoax items and clear authentic warheads with excellent sensitivity in reasonably short measurement times.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1603916113},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 31,
volume = 113,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1603916113

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 2 works
Citation information provided by
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