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Zero-knowledge protocol

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Zero-knowledge protocol

Top 10 PPPL stories that you shouldn’t miss

The past year saw many firsts in experimental and theoretical research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the Laboratory’s top findings in 2016, from the first results on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade to a new use for Einstein’s theory of special relativity to modeling the disk that feeds the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

1. First results of the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U)

PPPL intern Joseph Labrum helped build components for a “zero knowledge” system that may have applicability to future nuclear arms control agreements

Joseph Labrum spent his summer internship building components to upgrade an experiment that successfully compared physical objects without learning anything about the objects themselves. Such a “zero-knowledge protocol” system is a promising first step toward a technique that could possibly be used in future disarmament agreements, pending the results of further development, testing, and evaluation. While important questions remain, it might have potential application to verify that nuclear warheads are in fact true warheads without revealing classified information.

PPPL intern Joseph Labrum helped build components for a “zero knowledge” system that may have applicability to future nuclear arms control agreements

Joseph Labrum spent his summer internship building components to upgrade an experiment that successfully compared physical objects without learning anything about the objects themselves. Such a “zero-knowledge protocol” system is a promising first step toward a technique that could possibly be used in future disarmament agreements, pending the results of further development, testing, and evaluation. While important questions remain, it might have potential application to verify that nuclear warheads are in fact true warheads without revealing classified information.

PPPL and Princeton demonstrate novel technique that may have applicability to future nuclear disarmament agreements

A system that can compare physical objects while potentially protecting sensitive information about the objects themselves has been demonstrated experimentally at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). This work, by researchers at Princeton University and PPPL, marks an initial confirmation of the application of a powerful cryptographic technique in the physical world.

Rob Goldston wins 2015 Nuclear Fusion Award for best paper published in 2012

The editorial board of the journal Nuclear Fusion has selected Rob Goldston, a fusion researcher and Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences, as winner of the 2015 Nuclear Fusion Award. The award recognizes Goldston’s paper describing a new model for estimating the width of the scrape-off layer — the hot plasma that is exhausted in fusion facilities called tokamaks — as the most outstanding paper published by the journal in 2012.

Rob Goldston, Alex Glaser and Boaz Barak named among Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 top global thinkers

Editors of Foreign Policy magazine have named fusion physicist Rob Goldston, a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences and former director of PPPL, to its list of  “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014.” The recognition, made Nov. 17 at a celebration in Washington, D.C., honored Goldston for his contributions to the field of nuclear arms control.

A farewell to arms? Scientists developing a novel technique that could facilitate nuclear disarmament

A proven system for verifying that apparent nuclear weapons slated to be dismantled contained true warheads could provide a key step toward the further reduction of nuclear arms. The system would achieve this verification while safeguarding classified information that could lead to nuclear proliferation.

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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