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Fusing physics, cryptography to solve a nuclear inspection paradox
Fusing physics, cryptography to solve a nuclear inspection paradox

The solution to ridding nations of nuclear warheads may come from a simple puzzle involving marbles. That, at least, is what lies at the core of a warhead verification protocol designed by a Princeton University team, published this week in the journal Nature. Physicist Alexander Glaser, who has one foot in the public policy school and the other in the engineering faculty at Princeton, was puzzling over an apparent paradox:  How can you authenticate something without revealing anything about it? After all, nobody wants a foreign inspector seeing how a warhead is made. The standard answer thus far has been to design an electronic gizmo to mask the classified information but still...

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