Next-generation atomic clocks and secure quantum communication systems are expected to emerge in the next 5 years and will enable accurate timing and navigation devices for defence, telecommunications, and finance industries. In many of these cases, timing currently comes from global positioning satellite (GPS) signals. A study by the Royal Academy of Engineering exposed substantial UK vulnerabilities to intercepted or blocked GPS signals, which, unless mitigated, could have a significant impact on the 7% of the UK economy that is currently dependent on GPS. Quantum timing devices provide very precise timing, within a device that is not reliant upon satellite signals.
Image: Courtesy of NPL. Caption: Strontium end cap ion trap