# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"Flaw Found in Quantum Code," by Charles Seife. *Science*, 16 May1997, page 1034.

"Quantum Cheating," by Ivars Peterson. *Science News, 14 June 1997, page373. *

*In recent years, researchers have been developing the notion of quantumcryptography, which they hope will provide more secure transmissions of data.Because one cannot observe a quantum mechanical particle without altering it,efforts by eavesdroppers to observe observe information encoded by the use ofquantum cryptographic methods would inevitably leave traces behind.Researchers have, however, hit a snag. Work of Dominic Mayers, Hoi-Kwong Lo,and H.F. Chau have shown that an important cryptographic method called "bitcommitment" can be easily compromised in the quantum setting.*

*--- Allyn Jackson*