Nanotechnology Experiment Accidentally Discovers Forger Fix

Posted on November 16, 2006  Comments (0)

Security that is small and imperfectly formed by Michael Pollitt:

“One day the chip fell off the paper backing that it was being tested on and the laser just hit the paper instead. Whereas we would have expected to have got no signal, we actually got a signal that had all of the right characteristics for a security device. That was enormously surprising,” says Cowburn.

Rather than reaching for the glue, Cowburn investigated further and found that ordinary paper gave robust security signatures. The random pattern of the paper fibres scattered back the laser beam to detectors, giving far better results than the microchip.

After tuning the laser system, he also discovered that the probability of two pieces of paper producing an identical reading was unimaginably remote.

Related: Discoveries by AccidentStatistics for Experimenters

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