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Tonight's Leap-Second


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You may be aware that tonight we will have an extra second tacked onto our calendar in an attempt to synchronise the Earth's rotation with our own interpretation of time.

The BBC give a rather dull explanation. 

 

However, a much more entertaining way of spending your extra second of existence can be found at http://spendyourleapsecondhere.com/

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Some great sex......twice

You may be aware that tonight we will have an extra second tacked onto our calendar in an attempt to synchronise the Earth's rotation with our own interpretation of time. The BBC give a rather dull e

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Missed it. Gonna take a while to correct all the clocks.

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But if you go a second forward and we don't (not that I know of anyway), won't the earth get a big crack in it?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I watched it live because it was convenient. Now I can say I saw a clock display 60.

And for my next big thrill ............     :ermm:

post-9355-0-71558500-1435730928.jpg

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I always find this stuff confusing. Time is surely derived from how long it takes the Earth to rotate on it's axis..? We have defined it, for the purposes of reproducibility, as something to do with cesium atoms.... so I looked it up...

 

The unit of time, the second, was defined originally as the fraction 1/86 400 of the mean solar day. The exact definition of "mean solar day" was left to astronomical theories. However, measurement showed that irregularities in the rotation of the Earth could not be taken into account by the theory and have the effect that this definition does not allow the required accuracy to be achieved. In order to define the unit of time more precisely, the 11th CGPM (1960) adopted a definition given by the International Astronomical Union which was based on the tropical year. Experimental work had, however, already shown that an atomic standard of time-interval, based on a transition between two energy levels of an atom or a molecule, could be realized and reproduced much more precisely. Considering that a very precise definition of the unit of time is indispensable for the International System, the 13th CGPM (1967) decided to replace the definition of the second by the following (affirmed by the CIPM in 1997 that this definition refers to a cesium atom in its ground state at a temperature of 0 K):

The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom.

 

So this leap second business is to get the atomic clocks back to reality....the difference between consistence and common sense!! Since all GPS systems need the consistent accuracy of atomic time, and have to be kept mutually aligned too, it's become of more than esoteric interest.

 

Our time standard is kept at the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington (or what remains of it, these days) and I've seen it!! And the  Standard Volt, too....but that's another story......

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I've read all the various on-line articles on this, as I was just a confused as you James - although I couldn't summarise it half as well have you have done there.

 

I still think Douglas Adams summed it best:

 

"Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so".

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I always find this stuff confusing. Time is surely derived from how long it takes the Earth to rotate on it's axis..? We have defined it, for the purposes of reproducibility, as something to do with cesium atoms.... so I looked it up...

 

The unit of time, the second, was defined originally as the fraction 1/86 400 of the mean solar day. The exact definition of "mean solar day" was left to astronomical theories. However, measurement showed that irregularities in the rotation of the Earth could not be taken into account by the theory and have the effect that this definition does not allow the required accuracy to be achieved. In order to define the unit of time more precisely, the 11th CGPM (1960) adopted a definition given by the International Astronomical Union which was based on the tropical year. Experimental work had, however, already shown that an atomic standard of time-interval, based on a transition between two energy levels of an atom or a molecule, could be realized and reproduced much more precisely. Considering that a very precise definition of the unit of time is indispensable for the International System, the 13th CGPM (1967) decided to replace the definition of the second by the following (affirmed by the CIPM in 1997 that this definition refers to a cesium atom in its ground state at a temperature of 0 K):

The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom.

 

So this leap second business is to get the atomic clocks back to reality....the difference between consistence and common sense!! Since all GPS systems need the consistent accuracy of atomic time, and have to be kept mutually aligned too, it's become of more than esoteric interest.

 

Our time standard is kept at the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington (or what remains of it, these days) and I've seen it!! And the  Standard Volt, too....but that's another story......

Ah Well. That explains it. :coffee:

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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But how can someone use that extra 'leap second' for pure evil.

 

Did someone make millions by skimming accounts in that extra second.  Some one has to be rich from it.

Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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Phew! Thinking about the Millenium Bug, I'm glad there was no Leap Second bug and time and my PC march on and live for another. day. When is the next Leap Second so I can start a mass panic and make oodles of money coming up with a fix for the Leap Second Bug?

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2038 is the next key year for a major problem - Unix systems store the date as number of seconds since 00:00:00 1/1/1970 and if this is stored in a signed 32 bit field then after 03:14:07 on 19/1/2038 it will get the date and time wrong.

 

So Brian - plenty of time to start a panic and rake in the cash!

 

Hopefully, before then systems will be migrated to 64 bit systems so the problem effectively goes away.- having said that there are plenty of systems still in use now that people thought wouldn't be around by now.

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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Need to learn about Unix systems first though. If I start now I might just make it!

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Fond memories of the "Millenium Bug" and all the anticipated disasters.... I was on the Millenium night shift in the Immigration Office at T4 Heathrow. Everyone so twitched about aeroplanes falling out of the sky....started work at 1830...and the last flight had already gone through, so we had no passengers to deal with until the morning! So we got on with the night's real business.....food and drink... quite a lot of champagne.... watched the miserable mess that was the London "celebrations" and the "Dome" on the telly. Carried on drinking. Came the dawn....and no aeroplanes!! First flight arrived some time after 0800..."Staff to the control please...but not the night shift; they've had a really arduous time....!" Shortly after we went home....trousering our £100 bonus for working through the Millenium night...... 

I doubt that 2038 will be of much interest to me(!)

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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