Quantum and Atomic Clocks

Quantum and Atomic Clocks
Quantum and Atomic Clocks

While we are not the only creatures that measure time, in some ways we make it the center of our being. Time has played an important role in our society, playing a role in everything from planning birthday parties to organizing work, meetings or events. We use clocks to measure time, especially atomic clocks, which are incredibly precise. Head of the Atomic Clock Division at ColdQuanta, a market-leading quantum company, Dr. Judith Olson stated that “atomic clocks are undoubtedly one of the oldest, most widely used quantum technologies in existence.”

Their importance to our society cannot be overstated, given that much of our civilization's infrastructure is powered by these clocks. Helen Margolis, Head of Time and Frequency Science at the UK's National Physical Laboratory, said modern communication systems, energy distribution, transport systems and financial commerce depend on the right standards of time and frequency. “Atomic clocks are the basis for many of the technologies we depend on in our daily lives,” she added.

Next Generation Timekeeping Applications

Atomic clocks are useful for many different industries because of their exceptional accuracy and precision. According to Olson, the fact that there is already a market is one of the reasons quantum is so focused on clocks. “These watches are known to exist and are useful pieces of technology. They are bought and used by people. Many other quantum technologies, such as quantum computers, are still in the future but have yet to have commercial markets. Many in the quantum industry believe that the destructive potential of atomic clocks for timekeeping will also apply to quantum computers.

In Olson's words, “Quantum clocks have been around for decades, but right now you can't just go and buy a quantum computer.” As a result, academics and businesses can more easily use these tools when creating new technology.

Many people working in the quantum field want to marry two different types of technology, the atomic clock and the quantum computer. According to current research, an atomic clock can be connected to a quantum computer, creating an incredibly accurate sensor that can monitor gravity and other forces.

According to Olson, the best frequency references currently in use are atomic clocks.

The best-measured property available to humans is frequency. Therefore, atom-laser interactions use quantum computers. Some modalities of quantum computing may be constrained by the stability of laser wavelengths.

Because the accuracy of gate functions can be destroyed by phase noise, frequency noise, or other forms of noise. Having a reliable frequency reference, such as an atomic clock, can often help people lock up their lasers or improve their noise performance.

There are numerous applications for these quantum sensors and imaging systems, thanks to their precise sensors made up of atomic clocks and quantum computers. In the near future, “some geology or archeology applications will be human-friendly, such as new imaging techniques where you can scan forests, forests or soil to reveal ancient remains,” Olson added.

Countries' armed forces can use these methods to monitor and observe war more effectively than ever before. Others have pointed out that these tools could perhaps be used to explore new mineral or oil resources, but more research is needed.

Olson thinks that although quantum computing has a long way to go, atomic clocks will be more important to the global network than to individual computers. “We will need clocks in a quantum network,” he said, to transmit information, synchronize data, and enable secure quantum communication.

“It will be very important for us to understand the temporal and frequency content of the information being transmitted… However, I believe a quantum computer will operate based on frequency references rather than using an atomic clock,” he says.

Inside Quantum Technology author Kenna Hughes-Castleberry also serves as JILA's science communicator (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Deep technology, metaverse and quantum technology are some of his writing topics.

Source: insidequantumtechnology





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