Smartphones.

The tool that does almost anything and everything. From playing Angry Birds and Pokemon Go, to listening to your favourite songs on Spotify, to doing your banking. It’s a vital tool. And one tool that has become particularly important on smartphones, is navigation.

GPS, or Global Positioning System, has been around for a while now. Development started back in 1972 in the USA for military purposes but quickly became available for civilian use. Fast forward to November 2004, 22 years after the first development of GPS started, successful tests of assisted GPS for mobile phones was completed.

And this leads us to the present day. We use GPS to help us navigate everywhere, to get to our destination, to figure out where we are or how far away something is. GPS location apps have become more and more integrated with modern daily lives. But it’s something we overlook, seems like such a simple process, right? We turn on our GPS setting, and then satellites that are 20,200 km above us finds and displays it on our maps. Well, yes, this is what happens but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Take a look at the Ted-Ed video below to find out how orbiting satellites keep time to the beat of an atomic clock powered by quantum mechanics.