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A matter of time


I am privileged to be visiting London (UK) and fulfilled a childhood dream to visit the Royal Observatory at Greenwich,

I stood on the (current) terrestrial prime meridian. The intersection of astronomy, time keeping and the needs of the navy was a wonderful experience to experience directly.

John Harrison’s genius was in front of me and  impressed much more than I imagined…bimetallic strip, oily wood to lubricate the rotating parts and the invention of ball bearings…the incremental change over years to culminate in devices that could be held in the hand  (versions 4 and 5) and could keep accurate time for prolonged time at sea and allow the estimation of longitude and consequently safe navigation.

The animated gif is the first 3 of Harrison’s clocks. They were captured on my iPhone. I clould have done a better job at trying to clip them to one of the clocks cycles (I have not checked whether the cycle lengths are the same, within the limits of my camera frame rate…just wanted to ‘bookmark’ this day).

Categories: Mathematica
  1. June 7, 2012 at 7:55 am
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