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Free randomness can be amplified

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Publication details

JournalNature Physics
DatePublished - Jun 2012
Issue number6
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)449-452
Original languageEnglish


Are there fundamentally random processes in nature? Theoretical predictions, confirmed experimentally, such as the violation of Bell inequalities(1), point to an affirmative answer. However, these results are based on the assumption that measurement settings can be chosen freely at random(2), so assume the existence of perfectly free random processes from the outset. Here we consider a scenario in which this assumption is weakened and show that partially free random bits can be amplified to make arbitrarily free ones. More precisely, given a source of random bits whose correlation with other variables is below a certain threshold, we propose a procedure for generating fresh random bits that are virtually uncorrelated with all other variables. We also conjecture that such procedures exist for any non-trivial threshold. Our result is based solely on the no-signalling principle, which is necessary for the existence of free randomness.

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