Probabilistic one-time programs using quantum entanglement

Marie Christine Roehsner*, Joshua A. Kettlewell, Joseph Fitzsimons, Philip Walther

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Quantum technology allows for unparalleled levels of data and software protection. Probabilistic one-time programs harness these capabilities for quantum-assisted classical computations by encoding classical software in small quantum states resulting in computer programs that can be used only once. Such self-destructing one-time programs facilitate a variety of applications reaching from software distribution to one-time delegation of signature authority. Whereas previous experiments demonstrated the feasibility of such schemes, the practical applications were limited. Here we present an improved protocol for one-time programs that resolves major drawbacks of previous schemes, by employing entangled qubit pairs. This results in four orders of magnitude higher count rates and the ability to execute a program long after the quantum information exchange has taken place. We implement a one-time delegation of signature authority over an underground fiber link between university buildings in downtown Vienna, emphasizing the compatibility of our scheme with prepare-and-measure quantum internet networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Number of pages8
JournalNPJ Quantum Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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