Japanese scientist proposed a global clock synchronization system

(ORDO NEWS) — The worldwide network of cosmic particle detectors will make it possible to synchronize clocks with great accuracy, and in the future may become an alternative global navigation system.

The modern economy and technology require ultra-precise measurement of time, and atomic clocks allow it to be counted with the required resolution.

Such installations also work on satellites, but their signal takes a certain time to reach the recipient in the form of a radio wave or fiber optic. This causes an inevitable discrepancy even for those watches that rely on data from the same sources.

University of Tokyo professor Hiroyuki Tanaka has come up with a simple method to synchronize clocks on a global scale.

He described his idea of ​​”cosmic time synchronization” (Cosmic Time Synchronization, CTS) in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports . Space is mentioned here for a reason: like the oldest ways of counting time – according to the Sun and stars – CTS relies on what is happening in the sky.

The fact is that the Earth is constantly bombarded by streams of high-energy particles from space. They almost do not reach the surface of the planet, colliding with particles of the atmosphere.

These collisions occur at altitudes of tens of kilometers, generating whole showers of secondary particles, including muons.

Muons are unstable and do not exist for a long time, but they have a high penetrating power, managing to pass through impressive thicknesses of matter before disintegrating. Every second, hundreds of thousands of muons fly through our body, and detectors notice them even deep underground.

Japanese scientist proposed a global clock synchronization system 2
General scheme-description of the CTS concept

As a result, each shower of secondary particles in the atmosphere can be registered at many points on the surface of the planet, with instruments installed on the ground and underground, separated by distances of tens of kilometers.

Moreover, each of these showers is random and unique, and by determining the parameters of the particles that hit the detectors, one can associate them with one or another specific event. It is on these principles that the CTS technology proposed by Professor Tanaka is based.

According to him, muon sensors can be placed in buildings and vehicles, on land and in the sea. By capturing particle fluxes, they will be able to share data on recent particle showers in the atmosphere. This will allow you to constantly adjust the clock, based on the time of registration of such events.

β€œThe principle is sound and the technology, including detectors and electronics, is already in place. So we could implement this idea relatively quickly,” adds the Japanese scientist. Edison started with one light bulb in Manhattan. Perhaps we should adopt this approach, starting (with clock synchronization – ed.) in one block, then all over Tokyo, and so on.

In addition, Professor Tanaka points out that CTS technology can become an alternative to satellite navigation systems.

If the array of muon sensors covers the entire planet, then each occurrence of particle showers in the atmosphere can be localized with high accuracy. Based on these data, it remains only to triangulate the position of the detector. Unlike GPS or GLONASS, such a system can work even in buildings and underground.


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