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Title: A physical zero-knowledge object-comparison system for nuclear warhead verification

Abstract

Zero-knowledge proofs are mathematical cryptographic methods to demonstrate the validity of a claim while providing no further information beyond the claim itself. The possibility of using such proofs to process classified and other sensitive physical data has attracted attention, especially in the field of nuclear arms control. Here we demonstrate a non-electronic fast neutron differential radiography technique using superheated emulsion detectors that can confirm that two objects are identical without revealing their geometry or composition. Such a technique could form the basis of a verification system that could confirm the authenticity of nuclear weapons without sharing any secret design information. More broadly, by demonstrating a physical zero-knowledge proof that can compare physical properties of objects, this experiment opens the door to developing other such secure proof-systems for other applications.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [3]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Pisa (Italy); Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States). School of Medicine
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States); Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1332310
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0002534
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; Experimental nuclear physics; Imaging techniques; Information theory and computation

Citation Formats

Philippe, Sébastien, Goldston, Robert J., Glaser, Alexander, and d’Errico, Francesco. A physical zero-knowledge object-comparison system for nuclear warhead verification. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms12890.
Philippe, Sébastien, Goldston, Robert J., Glaser, Alexander, & d’Errico, Francesco. A physical zero-knowledge object-comparison system for nuclear warhead verification. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms12890.
Philippe, Sébastien, Goldston, Robert J., Glaser, Alexander, and d’Errico, Francesco. Tue . "A physical zero-knowledge object-comparison system for nuclear warhead verification". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms12890. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1332310.
@article{osti_1332310,
title = {A physical zero-knowledge object-comparison system for nuclear warhead verification},
author = {Philippe, Sébastien and Goldston, Robert J. and Glaser, Alexander and d’Errico, Francesco},
abstractNote = {Zero-knowledge proofs are mathematical cryptographic methods to demonstrate the validity of a claim while providing no further information beyond the claim itself. The possibility of using such proofs to process classified and other sensitive physical data has attracted attention, especially in the field of nuclear arms control. Here we demonstrate a non-electronic fast neutron differential radiography technique using superheated emulsion detectors that can confirm that two objects are identical without revealing their geometry or composition. Such a technique could form the basis of a verification system that could confirm the authenticity of nuclear weapons without sharing any secret design information. More broadly, by demonstrating a physical zero-knowledge proof that can compare physical properties of objects, this experiment opens the door to developing other such secure proof-systems for other applications.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms12890},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {9}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

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journal, February 1989

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A zero-knowledge protocol for nuclear warhead verification
journal, June 2014

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  • Nature, Vol. 510, Issue 7506
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Nuclear Warhead Verification: A Review of Attribute and Template Systems
journal, September 2015