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A binary sequence was constructed from 1.7×107 polarization measurements of single photons from a spontaneous parametric downconversion source, under pumping conditions similar to those used in optical quantum cryptography. To search for correlations in the polarization measurement outcomes, we subjected the sequence to a suite of tests developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the assessment of algorithmic random-number generators. The bias of the sequence was low enough to allow all fifteen tests to be applied directly to the polarization outcomes without using any numerical unbiasing procedures. No statistically significant deviations from randomness were observed, other than those related to this small uncorrected bias.


This paper was published in Journal of the Optical Society of America B 27 (2010): 1594-1602, and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.