David Mitlyng for Xairos
Time as National Infrastructure
Nobody in the early days of GPS understood how important it would be.
The expectation was that it would provide position and timing for the US military.
Now, nearly every person and country in the world rely on it.
This reliance has alarmed government and industry officials and inspired other countries to build their own global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
What is less well-known is that many countries are building their own resilient timing networks.
For example, the UK created the National Timing Centre two years ago after a review estimated that the loss of timing from a GPS outage could “impact the UK economy by over £1 billion per day.”
Other countries are following suit, including China, Korea, Norway, and India.
Meanwhile, in the US the telecommunication industry continues to push for a National Timing Architecture. Not only is it necessary to protect critical infrastructure, it also improves network performance:
“The more precise, resilient, and stable a timing source, the more information can be moved through a given piece of spectrum. According to network engineers, “better timing equals found money.””
Last Week's Theme: Scrubbed
- Wrapped up a busy schedule at Quantum Industry Day and ICSO 2022, and preparing for meetings at the International Timing and Sync Forum, UK Quantum Technology Showcase, and Slush 2022.
- Received Notice of Allowance for our patents: “Quantum Secure Network Clock Synchronization” and “Quantum Secure Clock Synchronization Based On Time-Energy And Polarization Entangled Photon Pairs.” Both patents expected to be issued by the end of the year.
- Filed two provisional patents with three more in work related to practical and secure quantum clock synchronization over fiber networks.
- Presenting on “Quantum Communications” at APSCC 2022. You can register here to watch live.
- If you are flying into Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport, be advised that a GPS outage is impacting flights. While it is too early to say, it may be related to a suspected intentional jamming event that occurred last January in Denver.
- Outside Ukraine and the Middle East, Norway may be the “the most jammed place on the planet." So they hosted a GPS jamming event and just published their initial results (note: it is in Norwegian).
- The UK-based NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) is warning of the “threat of GPS jamming, AIS spoofing, communications jamming, electronic interference and cyber-attacks” to ships in the Black Sea.
- SES announced the Eagle-1 Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) satellite in a partnership with the European Space Agency, while SpeQtral and Thales announced a space-based QKD partnership.
- The future date when quantum computers crack existing public key infrastructure is referred to as Y2Q. It is still a long time before quantum computers reach this capability, though some believe it will happen sooner than expected. In the meantime, IBM is working with Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) and Vodaphone to prepare for Y2Q and hosting industry roundtables, and NATO is developing their own Y2Q-resistant systems.
- A US Congressman makes the case that the US military needs to leverage commercial companies to create a metaphorical “Defense Valley.”
- TechCrunch asks “Is Silicon Valley really losing its crown?” Data suggests that Silicon Valley startups used to pull in nearly half of all venture funding in the US, and is now 1/3.
- APSCC 2022, October 18 - 20, Seoul, Korea
- International Timing and Sync Forum, November 7 - 10, Dusseldorf, Germany
- UK Quantum Technology Showcase, November 11, London, England
- Slush 2022, November 17 - 18, Helsinki, Finland
- Time and Money Conference, January 17, New York, New York
- Photonics West and Quantum West, January 28 - February 2, San Francisco, CA
- Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems, March 13 - 16, Vancouver, Canada
The 2022 Nobel prize in physics has been jointly awarded to three titans of quantum physics, Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger.
These scientists “performed experiments utilizing entangled photons to resolve a long-standing debate in the early history of quantum mechanics."
Entanglement as a consequence of quantum mechanics was pointed out and elaborated on by Albert Einstein and colleagues in the famous 1935 EPR paper. But Einstein found the idea of nonlocal entanglement, the so-called “spooky action at a distance”, deeply problematic since, while it doesn't directly violate relativity, it certainly violates the spirit of local influences and causes at the conceptual heart of relativity. Because of this Einstein favored the idea that a local hidden variable was at work such that quantum mechanics was an incomplete description of reality resulting from an averaging over these local hidden variables.
Nearly 30 years later, the physicist John Stewart Bell derived a mathematical relation, known as the Bell inequality, that demonstrated that any such local hidden variable theory could not reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics. Thus, Bell's theorem said it was possible in principle to experimentally test if the actual world corresponds to the predictions of quantum mechanics or of some deeper theory that uses local, hidden variables. What seemed to be a philosophical question was now potentially an experimental one.
However, "Bell’s inequality, while massively significant as a theoretical construct, was not at first of much use experimentally; the result itself of a thought experiment, it couldn’t be squared with practical detector technology. The three 2022 physics laureates found ways to circumvent those difficulties, and to advance studies of entanglement firmly into the realm of experimental science."
It is important to note that all of the progress that has been made in quantum information science and quantum technologies owes a huge debt to all of these pioneers that dared to seriously ask such a fundamental question about reality, and who were not dissuaded by accusations of the worthlessness of their research by many of their influential contemporaries.
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