Scientists from the University of Glasgow adapted the process of growing crystal structures known in chemistry and physics to generate random mathematical numbers. It is no secret that the existing software algorithms for such generation are "pseudo-random" - they retain certain patterns in the calculations. In contrast, nature has managed to create an ideal mechanism for the generation of truly random indicators - the parameters of crystal formation.
As physicists explain, before starting a reaction in the original system, there are an almost infinite number of energetically equivalent ways of combining certain reagents. This generates transcendental entropy and excludes the possibility that in the same system under similar conditions it will be possible to repeat the process of creating a specific crystal, that is, to obtain two identical samples. For example, the formation of snowflakes - they are all different and unique.
Scientists have created a kind of huge "farm" with many cells, in which conditions were created for the growth of crystals. After starting the process, the robot constantly analyzed the state of each sample, collecting data such as the size of the growing crystal, shape, orientation, color, etc. Information on all samples was encoded in binary form and every 10 minutes it was converted into a new number - this is a ready-made random number generator based on new principles.
When checked on encryption-cracking tests, the result of the operation of the crystallizer robot corresponded to the randomness tests established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (UK). And at the same time it exceeded the performance of pseudo-random software generators. Alas, the practical application of a bulky and complex crystal generator is not yet possible, the technology still needs serious improvement.