[ Changed 27th October 1998 ]
The Alpha Pulse random generator is a miniature hardware device for triggering random events with a predetermined event probability. The device uses a miniature silicon photo diode detector incorporating a harmless quantity of a radioactive alpha emitting material. The device produces random voltage pulses when alpha particles are emitted within the photo diode. The device has been used to generate pure, unbiased, non-deterministic random numbers and also to trigger random win events with long odds for applications such as gaming. The event probabilities produced by the device agree very closely with the predictions of Poisson theory.
The Alpha Pulse random generator is robust, durable, highly tamper resistant; it is unaffected by external influences and potentially can be made very small. Its operating principles, design, performance and applications will be reviewed.