John Rarity

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John Rarity
Profesor John G. Rarity FRS.jpg
John Rarity in 2015, portrait via the Royal Society
AwardsFRS (2015)[1]
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Bristol

John G. Rarity FRS is professor of optical communication systems in the department of electrical and electronic engineering at the University of Bristol, a post he has held since 1 January 2003.[2] He is an international expert on quantum optics, quantum cryptography and quantum communication using single photons and entanglement. Professor Rarity is a member of the Quantum Computation and Information group and quantum photonics at the University of Bristol.[3][4]

Research and career[edit]

Prior to moving to the University of Bristol in 2001, Rarity worked as a physicist at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) arm of the UK Ministry of Defence.

Notable early achievements while at DERA included demonstrations of quantum interference and non-locality over large distances, demonstrating a violation of Bell's Inequality over 4 km of optical fibre in 1994. These experiments were followed by work in quantum cryptography, resulting in his team at DERA setting a world record of 1.9 km range for free space secure quantum cryptography.[5] A collaboration with Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich in 2002 successfully demonstrated an open air quantum cryptography experiment over a distance of 23.4 km.

Since moving to the University of Bristol, Professor Rarity has built up a group working in experimental quantum optics. One project which has received substantial publicity recently in collaboration with the Quantum Information Processing group at HP Labs is developing affordable quantum key distribution systems.[6] The scheme reduces the cost by using pulsed LEDs rather than lasers as the source of transmitted qubits.[7]

In 2007 Professor Rarity collaborated in a demonstration of quantum key distribution using free space optical communications over 144 km[8] between the islands of Tenerife and La Palma.


  • NATO Scientific Affairs Division (31 August 1996). C. Cargese; C. Weisbuch and John Rarity (eds.). Microcavities and Photonic Bandgaps: Physics and Applications. Springer. ISBN 0-7923-4170-8. OCLC 35055551.

Highly cited papers[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]

Rarity was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015.[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "University News – New chairs" (PDF). University of Bristol. April 2003. p. 9. Archived from the original (pdf) on 28 June 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2006.
  3. ^ "Bristol University Physics—Centre for Quantum Photonics—Academic Staff". University of Bristol. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  4. ^ John Rarity publications indexed by Google Scholar
  5. ^ "DERA Scientists achieve world record 1.9 km range for free-space secure key exchange using quantum cryptography" (Press release). DERA. January 2001. Retrieved 25 July 2006.
  6. ^ "'Quantum ATM' rules out fraudulent web purchases".
  7. ^ J. L. Duligall; M. S. Godfrey; K. A. Harrison; W. J. Munro; J. G. Rarity. "Low Cost and Compact Quantum Cryptography". New J. Phys. 8 No 10 (October 2006) 249.
  8. ^ R. Ursin; F. Tiefenbacher; T. Schmitt-Manderbach; H. Weier; T. Scheidl; M. Lindenthal; B. Blauensteiner; T. Jennewein; J. Perdigues; P. Trojek; B. Ömer; M. Fürst; M. Meyenburg; J. Rarity; Z. Sodnik; C. Barbieri; H. Weinfurter; A. Zeilinger. "Entanglement-based quantum communication over 144 km". Nature Physics 3, 481 – 486 (1 Jul 2007).
  9. ^ "Professor John Rarity FRS – The Royal Society" (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 May 2015.