Weekly Takeaways-October 11, 2021

Updated: 5 days ago

A Brief History of Time (Synchronization) The concept of time is as old as civilization itself. But only recently have we become obsessed with relative time, or the synchronization between clocks. In the old days time synchronization was not critical. TV and radio were broadcast on one-way analog signals and radio communications was "push-to-talk". Clocks would still drift but they were set manually. If you are old enough you may remember listening for the radio DJ to announce the time or even calling a hotline. But then we entered the digital age. Analog transmissions moved to digital modulation, and one-way broadcasts were replaced by multi-party communication and data networks. These increasingly complex networks required synchronization for the efficient movement of data, analogous to how timed traffic lights move traffic more efficiently. Fortunately, there was a timing signal available right as this transformation was occurring, courtesy of GPS. But GPS was not built for this - it was a happy accident that is well overdue for a replacement.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) met with representatives from quantum information technology companies, including ColdQuanta, AWS, Google, Microsoft, Boeing, Rigetti, and many others. The summit highlights the push within the US government towards "accelerating fundamental and applied uses of quantum information science, and bringing quantum technologies to fruition.”

The summit was led by the National Quantum Coordination Office (NQCO), which was recently created by the National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018 and coordinates quantum activities across the US.

The NQSO released a report, The Role of International Talent in Quantum Information Science, highlighting the need to bring in global quantum talent to support these efforts.