Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hour Minutes and Seconds Of Time - Part 1

The HMS in the label does not stand for either "His Majesty's Service, nor "Her Majesty's Service.  It is a short-hand for Hours, Minutes and Seconds. It has been way too long since I last posted.  I am now going to show you the reason why.  NIST has some publications.  Here is their main URL on this:

NIST Timekeeping

Here is the short PDF file for you to look at:

NIST PDf (short)

I have of course already read it.  Now here is the long one which must have taken people a year to put together.  It is 300 pages long and even goes into the quantum physics among other things:

NIST PDF (long)

I saw a humorous episode of Black Adder the other day where the king was supposedly going to have to participate in a duel at 6:00 PM.  I wish it was true but for the time given it probably wasn't.  Time that accurate really didn't take off until the end of the 19th century.  They would have said, meet at sun-down. I am going to touch on that - how time in increments first of hours, then minutes, and then seconds came about.  At least now you can look at what goes into getting the time right.  Most people have never given it much thought but electric utility companies need ways of merging two power sources with each other so that both are in sync with each other which requires accurate time-keeping.  Ships at sea and railroads were the primary things that made it necessary for us to have more accurate time.  So read these and stay tuned.  I am just going to briefly summarize those 300 pages, most of which I already knew it but there are things that I am learning.

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