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back to article DVD plus nano-rods equals security, density: researchers

Swinburne and Taiwanese researchers have demonstrated technology that can use a single laser beam to create 3D polarization in nanomaterials. What’s cool about this is that they demonstrate that the polarization can be used to encrypt information – as well as expanding the storage capacity of optical media like DVDs. As is …

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I may be wrong but here goes ......

Thinking about it briefly (very briefly), this will give you the ability to encode successive bits of data with different polarisation, the discrete sequence of the polarisation direction (in 3D) which is known to the creator but not to any unauthorised person who tries to read it. However, there will be a finite and limited set of possible polarisations otherwise an authorised recipient would not have the equipment to read it. It's like being presented with a box containing a bit of data then being told that there are in fact, say, 100 sub-boxes (determined by the polarisation direction) so which sub-box do you want?

Isn't this actually high density steganography? Or am I splitting hairs?

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Re: I may be wrong but here goes ......

I believe that the idea is that because they've now got it working with a single laser, you can effectively encrypt information by changing the polarisation as you write data according to an algorithm, and then only the person that you've told the start conditions to will be able to read the data from the disk. It would also thwart brute force attacks as you can fill up all the other channels with junk at the same time. One way I could think of for doing that would be to take a hash of the original document, separate it into 5 bit chunks and use that as the basis for which polarisation to use.

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Boffin

Re: I may be wrong but here goes ......

I'm failing to see that this is nothing but expanding the key-depth though. In the case of 100 sub-boxes (say 128 to make it easer), you could get away with having a 6-bit key instead.

It's good, I'll grant you, but I don't think the killer app is crypto. They've just created a very expensive 1-time pad.

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HMB

Animals

It's incredible how the different polarisations encode precisely for all those animals! Spooky eh? :P

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Coat

to quote a popular webcomic author

"...adding this to the long list of engineering problems which can be waved away by tacking on the prefix “nano-”."

<<<<< the one with the xkcd subscription in the pocket.....

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Boffin

Absolutely nanomight

This is science at its sexiest, no doubt about it.

Just one question though : is my GS-DVD (Gold-Sprinkled) going to take six times longer to "burn" due to all those polarization changes ?

In addition to costing me an arm and a leg for a stack of ten, of course.

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