Clocks go the quantum way

Technology is fast catching up with the latest in science as quantum based technologies emerge. Now the ubiquitous clock which is the “heart” of every computer has gone the quantum way.

A defence organization called Raytheon has invented a quantum clock that can keep a single time between systems separated by large distances. This time is literally “universal” in that even if the systems are spread across the universe, they would still keep the same exact time.

Image Credit - Cyber Security

The quantum clock exploits the well known principle of quantum entanglement where a pair of particles behaves as if they were the same particle across both space and time.

Image Credit - Phys.ord
Image Credit – Phys.ord

The quantum clock in essence is a bunch of entangled particles that maintain an inherent relationship. These particles are then transmitted to different classical systems that need to be synchronized in time. Due to the entanglement, a detection of a state on one of the particle inevitably forces a detection of a complementary state on the other particle.

Technologies such as GPS that rely heavily on time synchronization across vast distances are going to benefit most from this quantum clock.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 9331843
Patent Title: Quantum synchronization for classical distributed systems
Publication date: 3 May 2016
Filing date: 21 May 2013
Inventors: Steven J. Silverman; Nils Paz; John R. Harmon;
Applicant: RAYTHEON COMPANY

US9331843

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