Scientists Want To Improve Your GPS With A Global Network Of Qantum Clocks

Samsung Galaxy Gear, a wearable device, is on display at the Samsung booth at the 2014 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Getty)

A group of international scientists has proposed a global network of atomic clocks linked at the quantum level to improve time keeping.

One of the advantages of the plan is the ability to maintain and synchronise time standards across multiple parties in real-time.

Peter Kómár of Harvard University and colleagues write in a paper published in the journal Nature Physics:

“Unlike the current world time standard, where the individual signals from different clocks are averaged and communicated with a time delay (a so-called paper clock), in our quantum clock network all participants have access to the ultra-stable signal at any time.”

This makes it possible to measure systematic errors of different clocks in real time.

The modern world relies heavily on accurate time-keeping including the operation of the Global Positioning System, or synchronisation in high-frequency financial trading.

The proposed atomic clock network would be a resource for Earth science studies and fundamental tests of relativity and quantum gravity.

The clocks would be distributed around the Earth and on satellites.

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