Why no clock, sophisticated, never give exact time

Why no clock, sophisticated, never give exact time

Physical and watchmaking served in tray the perfect excuse for those who are always late: “It was not me, is it”

The Swiss are those people who in time became an art. And we are not referring to the weather predictions that take as much or more time (pun intended) on the news as football. We talked about feats of micro engineering calls watches, for decades, many, those teachers locked in valleys surrounded by mountains and snow have been dedicated to manufacturing with care and enviable, almost unhealthy dedication. His aim was, and still is, to create precise, perfect, precise, beautiful watches.

And above all, essential, necessary. At the end of the life they rule. These junk wake us, let us down what time you have to go to work, when to stop eating, napping, the appointment with the doctor, with the boyfriend / girlfriend, when the film session begins … “When you say casting chapter three of the eighth season?” It is the rhythm, the engine that drives the world that encourages people.

But, and here comes the big question, are they accurate? For many complications that have (equation of time, tourbillons several, carousels, chronograph, perpetual calendar) or technological innovations (titanium, spirals and flyers silicon, magnesium, etc.) the answer is: no. They never give you the exact time.

Why? Patience, do not hurry, read this before you throw away your clocks, because as said Ernest Valls, technical director of the magazine TDM ( Time Machine ), “do not worry about the accuracy of our-and quartz watches are Mechanical- or because rarely they tell us the moment we live, so better to take them and enjoy the stories shared treasure by now. “That said, we should point out two aspects that make wonderful imperfect clocks in arms: one moves in the field of physics; the other in the astronomical.

The researcher of the Institute of Theoretical Physics IFT UAM-CSIC in Madrid, Jose Luis Fernandez Barbon, is an expert on the former, in physics: “In all theoretically watch two important aspects: accuracy (interval between consecutive ticks, which can called ‘push’) and fidelity (error resilience, that is, the clock ticking lose or gain any long). In the bowels of the clock there is always internal components ranging regularly.

The precision is greater the higher the frequency of this oscillator, while the fidelity is related to the stability of the oscillator. A clock would infinitely faithful within perpetual motion.

The closest thing to a perpetual motion in nature are electrons inside atoms, because the laws of physics tell us that all atoms are identical, and their properties do not change with time if they are not disturbed from outside. So get loyalty involves basing the clock atoms, and isolate them where possible.

“This explains why the faithful are atomic clocks, which could theoretically run for billions of years without missing a beat,” says the physicist. Someone who pursues the full accuracy of his watch should be raised with an atomic, but this would be costly and, above all, very difficult to carry on the wrist for reasons of (large) size Still, if you are done with a portable atomic timepieces, neither has them all get Speaks Jose Luis Fernandez Barbon. “As for the maximum precision of an atomic clock, it is limited by the speed at which things happen inside an atom.

So the pulse may never be less than the time it takes light to cross atom (this is one millionth the thickness of a human hair) at a speed of 300,000 kilometers per second! That’s a good little ticking … But if we want something even more precise, you have to use a faster oscillator, such as nuclear processes.

The problem is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, according to which handle smaller hard time increasing energy. And the more energy, more cost control fidelity. Operating with a nuclear clock is complicated for obvious reasons! “As he himself admits, “the ‘correct time’ does not exist in a strict sense.

But a watch is far from giving it. “Did they left squashed the explanation given by physics? Well take a look at the most horological and astronomical arguments, so to speak, those having to do with the true solar time (or apparent) and the set time or the mean solar time (in which we move, which marks the watches, which governs our daily lives).

And yes, they are different … Again, sorry. The length of a day is based on the interval of time between two consecutive times when the sun occupies the same position in the sky. This is called noon and coincides with the highest position of the sun.

If the land is devoted to exercise only the rotational motion around itself, everything would be easier. As detailed Jordi Colome, a member of the web Watch Test (one of the best watch in Spanish), the sun would take exactly 24 hours to appear on the highest point of our sky. “But the translation is there, lurking, and is to blame for that can not respond as cheerfully.

Why? Because we have the misfortune of the Earth’s orbit around the sun still is not circular, but elliptical, causing the time interval that occurs between these two consecutive identical positions not always be the same, or that have a precise value 24 hours, but undergoes a deflection dependent on one of those complex formulas that have nothing to do with a relationship simple, linear. ”

A great evils great remedies. As it is obvious to tread days you do not have exactly the same length complicates the matter (even having her there who never comes when you must) to standardize it was agreed that better not base the schedules of planes and buses, programming on TV and all those important things in life, in the ‘true solar (or apparent) time’; and was there where it appeared the ‘mean solar time’, a much more stable yes sir respected those 24 hours per day and not a second more, no less.

Ernest Valls is unequivocal: “There are few occasions that ‘weirdos’ mechanical watches we have to defend against the rest of us when they tell us that their Quartz-and cheaper-is more accurate than our beautiful timepiece -and most expensive- of deliberate beating. The truth …

We do not care. In addition, you can almost say that know precisely the moment when we are mere fiction. A stopped clock is right twice a day. And one running only what is four times a year: April 15, June 14, September 1 and December 25, when it coincides approximately with the equinoxes and solstices. The first is a joke. The latter is due to the equation of time. ”

And what is that? A very high watchmaking complication (expensive pieces, sublime) indicating the difference between the real or apparent solar time and mean solar time: “For this, somewhere in the area of clock ‘says Jordi Colome- have a small needle that moves across a scale which limits the first match on November 3, when the mean solar time is 16 minutes and 33 seconds behind the true solar time; and the second, in mid-February, in which the deviation occurs with the opposite sign and is the real time which is about 14 minutes behind the mean solar time.

To be honest, despite the staff and great admiration as fond of watchmaking sorry for the equation of time, either with her could you answer accurately the unknown, since it is an indication that reports the deviation one day certain of our calendar presents about the true solar time, but does not report the instantaneous deviation”. Do not get sad, at least have the consolation of four times a year.

Because, after all, who wants a watch to see the time? And if they are looking sickly accuracy, follow the advice of Jordi Colome: “Let’s get a sundial, but not convinced the idea of always walking one in tow.”

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