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Clocks that properly represent time.

  1. Oct 18, 2011 #1
    I was wondering about two types of clocks that I see often. One is continuous in manner and the other ticks from one second to the next.

    Which clock properly represents time?

    Personally, I think time should be represented as a flow and not in unitary fashion. What do you think?
     
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  3. Oct 18, 2011 #2
    I prefer digital clocks. To be honest I don't understand why those "discrete second" clocks get made. It doesn't help the user tell time, and I bet it costs a bit more to make than the "continuous second" clocks.
     
  4. Oct 18, 2011 #3

    russ_watters

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    I prefer digital because they are easier to read.
     
  5. Oct 18, 2011 #4

    lisab

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    Interesting point of view...so you don't like quanta of time :biggrin:?
     
  6. Oct 18, 2011 #5

    DaveC426913

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    It was discovered in about grade 8, that my son had no idea how to read a clock face, having theretofore only experienced digital clocks.
     
  7. Oct 19, 2011 #6
    Originally clocks ticked, and jumped forward in increments of a second, as a natural consequence of the pendulum/escapement mechanism. This was no longer necessary after electrical clocks, (but some electrical clocks seem to have been designed to imitate that anyway). I have two nice, electrical alarm clocks from the 60's or 70's that don't tick, and the second have runs in a continuous motion. One of the reasons Tesla recommended that Westinghouse adopt a 60 cycle grid was so that clocks could keep time off the grid. Each revolution of their motors was in a fixed ratio to the 60 cycles and the gearing could be set up accordingly.

    Quartz, battery operated clocks and watches with analog faces all seem to tick. I don't know if that is necessary or an affectation.

    I definitely prefer second hands that have a continuous motion. However, I put up with a quartz, battery operated clock because it's more convenient not to have to deal with an electrical cord.
     
  8. Oct 19, 2011 #7
    Did you restrict his meals until he figured it out? Took my son about 20 minutes.
     
  9. Oct 19, 2011 #8

    Chi Meson

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    Kinda the opposite with me: whenever I look at the digital time, I need to picture where the minute hand would be in order to get a "feel" for what time it is or how much time is left. To me, 30 degrees means 5 minutes.
     
  10. Oct 19, 2011 #9

    Chi Meson

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    I can't stand the tick tick tick. I found a nice clock that has a very quiet tick tick, and is also radio-synchronized to keep exact time. It even changes with DST. And looks like a traditional clock and because of this clock, my six-year-old Benny (On shoulders<======)(but he's only three there) can tell time.
     
  11. Oct 19, 2011 #10
    Defective clocks are the best, at least they have the time exact twice a day, whereas any working clock has a slight error, which reduces the times that it indicates the exact time maybe every so many years
     
  12. Oct 19, 2011 #11

    Monique

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    I think we should all pay more attention to the oscillator in the suprachiasmatic nucleus :wink:
     
  13. Oct 19, 2011 #12

    phinds

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    I guess if you've got a lot to get done between one second and the next it could be annoying that your clock hand jumps from one to the other without showing you a nice smooth flow as you go about doing all those things. I mean, here you are half way from one second to the next and you've got a lot left to do but you're not sure how much time there is left to do it in. Guess that could be annoying.
     
  14. Oct 19, 2011 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Har har.

    It isn't a matter of intellectually "figuring it out", it's a matter of whether it becomes second nature or whether he has to read and translate every time.
     
  15. Oct 19, 2011 #14
    Personally, I would teach my kids to read a sun dial, and do away with ticking and electrical cords and batteries altogether, but sundials have the drawback of not being much good at night. Or when it's overcast. Or raining. Also, I don't have any kids.
     
  16. Oct 19, 2011 #15
    I don't find any problem with ticking clocks; unless of course they make too much noise.
     
  17. Oct 19, 2011 #16
    Does time flow in units? I'm not an expert, but wondering if describing in units (quanta) is proper.
     
  18. Oct 19, 2011 #17
    i've been meaning to, as i think it's got something to do with brainwave patterns in sleep when most external stimuli are being ignored, but i've just been too lazy to dig into it. iirc, there's more than one oscillator, too.
     
  19. Oct 19, 2011 #18
    I asked about this some years back. The answer I got was that people have proposed, now and then, that some minimum unit of time be specified, but there doesn't seem to be any natural quantum of time, so no one is very enthusiastic about the idea.
     
  20. Oct 19, 2011 #19

    phinds

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    I think what IS clear is that if time IS quantized, the level of quantization is well below our ability to detect it. Still, it DOES matter to some theories, as I understand it, so I'm sure the topic's not dead.
     
  21. Oct 19, 2011 #20

    Chi Meson

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    It's not so much that time is discretely quantized, but there is a limit, known as Planck time, where any duration of time shorter than 10^-42 seconds is basically unmeasurable. So there is a physical limit to how short time can be measured which is way way way way way below our current technological limit.
     
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