Stealth communication: Zero-power classical communication, zero-quantum quantum communication and environmental-noise communication
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An alternative physical way of communication, communication by the inherent background noise, is proposed which does not need net energy transfer in the information channel. The communicator devices do dissipate energy; however, they do not emit net energy into the channel, instead of that, they modulate the parameters of inherent spontaneous fluctuations in the channel. The method can use two different mechanisms, thermal noise (Johnson-Nyquist noise) for classical communication, and vacuum fluctuations/zero-point energy (quantum uncertainty noise) for quantum communication. The strongest advantage of the method is that it is apparently the most hidden (stealth) way of communication, because it is using the inherent background noise for communication. Therefore, it is extremely difficult or impossible to discover its presence. With proper wave-based arrangements and specific conditions, the sender and the receiver can easily detect eavesdropper activities, so that the eavesdropper is detected as soon as she extracts a single bit of information, thus the security of the method is comparable to the security of quantum communication/quantum key distribution schemes. Finally, concerning practical applications, environmental noise, out of the fundamental/inherent fluctuations, can also be used for this kind of communication provided that is sufficiently stationary. 2005 American Institute of Physics.