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News Picks : UK to connect its financial institutions to national atomic clock

By: Physics Today
16 April 2014
New Scientist: The UK's National Physical Laboratory is home to the country's official atomic clock. Soon, a 25-km fiber-optic cable will connect the lab with London's financial district. From there, all of the financial companies will have direct connections to a standardized timekeeping system. The goal of the centralized clock is to help prevent high-frequency traders from exploiting or accidentally misusing time gaps that currently occur because each company maintains its own time system. The dedicated fiber-optic cable will provide microsecond precision, which is necessary for the computer algorithms that monitor the markets and make trades. A similar system in the US would require installing an atomic clock in or near New York City, because it would be too expensive to run a cable from the country's official clock, which is located several thousand kilometers away in Colorado.

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