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Title: Physical cryptographic verification of nuclear warheads

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. Finally, 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:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0002534
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 31; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development (NA-22); USDOE
Contributing Orgs:
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
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; isotopic tomography; nuclear weapons; disarmament; verification
OSTI Identifier:
1264781
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1367519; OSTI ID: 1367533