[time-nuts] are any time-nuts also random-nuts?
Lux, Jim (337C)
james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Dec 23 17:51:11 UTC 2009
If I wanted random numbers that were not generated by a high quality algorithm (which can generate randomness far better than most mechanical devices), I'd go with the traditional radioactive source and a detector approach (as used by NBS to do their famous tables in the handbooks)
Aware Electronics makes a little Geiger-Muller peripheral (9V DC in, pulses out) and that, in combination with a low activity source (say from United Nuclear) would work quite nicely.
(although, with a bit of thought, you'll be able to think of an easy way to get a 1 microcurie Americium-241 source.. nice alpha emitter, about 27,000 disintegrations per second, and much longer half life than the Po210 alpha source in the antistatic brush)
I've had a RM-60 for almost 20 years now, and it still works nicely. It's fun to set up a logging program and just collect data, and see how precisely it matches the theoretical Poisson distribution.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On Behalf Of Scott Burris
> Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 8:07 AM
> To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
> Subject: [time-nuts] are any time-nuts also random-nuts?
> I saw this USB connected hourglass for producing random numbers:
> Anyone pursuing perfect randomness in the same way this group pursues
> time and frequency? Maybe cryptologists.
> I'm tempted to build an ethernet connected variant of this. Then of course
> we need a distribution mechanism. How about RNDP, the Random Number
> Distribution Protocol? A la NTP, clients could select for the server with the
> most randomness :-)
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