Indexed on: 12 Jul '01Published on: 12 Jul '01Published in: Quantum Physics
We prove the unconditional security of the standard six-state scheme for quantum key distribution (QKD). We demonstrate its unconditional security up to a bit error rate of 12.7 percents, by allowing only one-way classical communications in the error correction/privacy amplification procedure between Alice and Bob. This shows a clear advantage of the six-state scheme over another standard scheme---BB84, which has been proven to be secure up to only about 11 percents, if only one-way classical communications are allowed. Our proof technique is a generalization of that of Shor-Preskill's proof of security of BB84. We show that a advantage of the six-state scheme lies in the Alice and Bob's ability to establish rigorously from their test sample the non-trivial mutual information between the bit-flip and phase error patterns. A modified version of the degenerate quantum codes studied by DiVincenzo, Shor and Smolin is employed in our proof.