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Tagged with “clock” (14)

  1. The Clock

    The clock was invented in 1656 and has become an essential part of the modern economy.

    There’s no such thing as “the correct time”. Like the value of money, it’s a convention that derives its usefulness from the widespread acceptance of others. But there is such a thing as accurate timekeeping. That dates from 1656, and a Dutchman named Christiaan Huygens. In the centuries since, as Tim Harford explains, the clock has become utterly essential to almost every area of the modern economy.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. New Clock May End Time As We Know It

    "My own personal opinion is that time is a human construct," says Tom O’Brian. O’Brian has thought a lot about this over the years. He is America’s official timekeeper at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado.

    To him, days, hours, minutes and seconds are a way for humanity to "put some order in this very fascinating and complex universe around us."

    We bring that order using clocks, and O’Brian oversees America’s master clock. It’s one of the most accurate clocks on the planet: an atomic clock that uses oscillations in the element cesium to count out 0.0000000000000001 second at a time. If the clock had been started 300 million years ago, before the age of dinosaurs began, it would still be keeping time — down to the second. But the crazy thing is, despite knowing the time better than almost anyone on Earth, O’Brian can’t explain time.

    "We can measure time much better than the weight of something or an electrical current," he says, "but what time really is, is a question that I can’t answer for you."

    Maybe its because we don’t understand time, that we keep trying to measure it more accurately. But that desire to pin down the elusive ticking of the clock may soon be the undoing of time as we know it: The next generation of clocks will not tell time in a way that most people understand.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. 10,000 Year Clock Challenges Approach To Time : NPR

    In this final interview in our series of conversations about the future, Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Danny Hillis, a scientist and engineer and the inventor of a clock designed to last 10,000 years. The clock is meant to encourage people to think about the long-range future; the "long now" as Hillis calls it.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. Time’s Mysteries Part I: Marking Time

    Time’s a mystery, yet we’ve invented clever ways to capture it. From sundials to atomic clocks, trace the history of time-keeping. Also, discover the surprising accuracy of nature’s dating schemes - from the decay of carbon to laying down tree rings.

    Plus, why the "New York minute," stretches to hours in Rio de Janeiro: cultural differences in the perception of time.


    * Chris Turney - Geologist at the University of Exeter, UK, and the author of Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened
    * Demetrios Matsakis - Head of the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Time Service
    * Steven Jefferts - Physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado
    * Robert Levine - Psychologist at California State University in Fresno and the author of The Geography of Time
    * Norman Mohr - Owner, Mohr Clocks, Mountain View, California

    —Huffduffed by adactio

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