Oxford physicists create a network of quantum-entangled atomic clocks

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Quantum physics can be used for much more than creating quantum computers, although there are many details that we have to know and control before it is really useful in everyday life.

In the same way that it happens with Newtonian physics, there are things that happen and we don’t really know why. Gravity is a reality, we take it for granted because we see it every day, and there comes a time when few question the reason why two bodies attract each other. Yes, due to gravity, but… why?

Something similar happens with quantum physics. We know that there are particles that are synchronized in real time regardless of distance, in fact they would be synchronized even if they are in another galaxy at the other end of the universe, it does not depend on the speed of light. That is so, why? Well, it is not known, but it is so.

In case that quantum entanglement It can be very useful in the future. I am no longer talking about teleporting, I leave that to science fiction writers, I am talking about sending information in real time to any part of the universe, or, as physicists from the University of Oxford have done, successfully link two atomic clocks through said quantum entanglement.

This will help make these clocks so accurate that they begin to approach the fundamental limit of accuracy set by quantum mechanics.

The way atomic clocks measure time has nothing to do with anything else known. They measure time with the vibration patterns of atoms. For example, a caesium-133 atom oscillates exactly 9,192,631,770 times per second, a value that has helped define what a second is since 1967.

There are optical atomic clocks, which use visible light and atoms like ytterbium. Those optical atomic clocks are more precise than cesium atomic clocks, but nothing compared to what could be done with the Oxford physicists’ clocks.

Although they had already managed to entangle a cloud of atoms within a single device in the past, now they have done so with two atomic clocks separated from each other by several meters.each with a single strontium ion.

They explain the process in the article at www.physics.ox.ac.uk, where they indicate that they used a laser beam that splits in two to hit the strontium ions and generate the desired quantum entanglement bond.

It is believed that a specialized network of entangled quantum atomic clocks would help to better understand the fundamental constants, and even dark matter, but there is still time for that.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.