Article open access publication

A quantum network of clocks

Nature Physics, Springer Nature, ISSN 1745-2473

Volume 10, 8, 2014

DOI:10.1038/nphys3000, Dimensions: pub.1024421624,


Kessler, E. M. (1) (2)
Jiang, L. (4)
Ye, J. (3)
Lukin, M. D. * (1)

* Corresponding author



  1. (1) Harvard University, grid.38142.3c
  2. (2) Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, grid.455754.2
  3. (3) University of Colorado Boulder, grid.266190.a
  4. (4) Yale University, grid.47100.32
  5. (5) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU


The development of precise atomic clocks plays an increasingly important role in modern society. Shared timing information constitutes a key resource for navigation with a direct correspondence between timing accuracy and precision in applications such as the Global Positioning System. By combining precision metrology and quantum networks, we propose a quantum, cooperative protocol for operating a network of geographically remote optical atomic clocks. Using nonlocal entangled states, we demonstrate an optimal utilization of global resources, and show that such a network can be operated near the fundamental precision limit set by quantum theory. Furthermore, the internal structure of the network, combined with quantum communication techniques, guarantees security both from internal and external threats. Realization of such a global quantum network of clocks may allow construction of a real-time single international time scale (world clock) with unprecedented stability and accuracy. A proposed network of atomic clocks—using non-local entangled states—could achieve unprecedented stability and accuracy in time-keeping, as well as being secure against internal or external attack.


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University of Copenhagen

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2014: Unused

Research area: Science & Technology

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2014: Level 2

Research area: Science & Technology

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Times Cited: 190

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 54.26

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