Besides the Chinese astronomical clock of Su Song in 1088 mentioned above, in Europe there were the clocks constructed by Richard of Wallingford in St Albans by 1336, and by Giovanni de Dondi in Padua from 1348 to 1364. They no longer exist, but detailed descriptions of their design and construction survive, and modern reproductions have been made. They illustrate how quickly the theory of the mechanical clock had been translated into practical constructions, and also that one of the many impulses to their development had been the desire of astronomers to investigate celestial phenomena.
In order to shut off this loud alarm, you have to actually get out of bed and stand on the rug for three seconds. But if you find yourself cheating your alarm by crawling back into bed after those few seconds, you can extend the alarm for up to 30 seconds, ensuring you’ll be much more awake once the blood starts flowing to the other parts of your body.
Any expansion or contraction of the rod caused by changes of temperature will affect the timekeeping of a pendulum; e.g., a pendulum clock with a steel rod will lose one second a day for a rise in temperature of approximately 4 °F (2.2 °C). For accurate timekeeping, the length of the pendulum must be kept as nearly constant as possible. This may be done in several ways, some of which use the differing coefficients of expansion (the amount of expansion per degree change in temperature) of different metals to obtain a cancelling-out effect. In one popular compensation method, the bob consists of a glass or metal jar containing a suitable amount of mercury. The gridiron pendulum employs rods of different metal, usually brass and steel, while in the zinc-iron tube the pendulum rod is made of concentric tubes of zinc and iron. An improved method, however, is to make the pendulum rod from a special alloy called Invar. This material has such a small coefficient of expansion that small changes of temperature have a negligible effect and can easily be compensated for if required.
Wall clocks both help you keep time and accent your space as decor that fills an empty wall space above the mantel or kitchen counter. For a clock that serves dual purposes, consider a numberless option—the minimalist look doesn't exude obvious functionality, but the time is still obvious and the clock works as a unique piece of hanging wall art—perfect for the living room or dining room. If you're not necessarily looking to make a bold style statement but still want a chic timepiece, embossed clocks fit the bill. The numbers add interest and dimension and keep the clock looking artful—another great option for the dining room or kitchen. For a family-friendly clock, look for large faces and clean-lined, easy-to-read numbering. With form and function in perfect accordance, this type also fits in beautifully on a bedroom wall. Don't forget about the home office, where time is of the essence. Minimalist designs in handsome walnut and sleek iron can add either a throwback or modern feel to the space. Wall clocks of all designs not only keep you, your family and your guests aware of the time, but also serve as great decorative elements to your home.
Clocks aren't just for telling time! Take this one for example: artful with its understated analog dial, this piece is perfect lending an upscale feel to your living room look or kitchen ensemble. Measuring 16'' circular, its frame features a glass design accented by a shiny chrome center and openwork hands to mark the hour. This product required one AA battery to operate, which is not included. Suitable for indoor use only.
The timekeeping element of a quartz clock consists of a ring of quartz about 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) in diameter, suspended by threads and enclosed in a heat-insulated chamber. Electrodes are attached to the surfaces of the ring and connected to an electrical circuit in such a manner as to sustain oscillations. Since the frequency of vibration, 100,000-hertz, is too high for convenient time measurement, it is reduced by a process known as frequency division or demultiplication and applied to a synchronous motor connected to a clock dial through mechanical gearing. If a 100,000 hertz frequency, for example, is subjected to a combined electrical and mechanical gearing reduction of 6,000,000 to 1, then the second hand of the synchronous clock will make exactly one rotation in 60 seconds. The vibrations are so regular that the maximum error of an observatory quartz-crystal clock is only a few ten-thousandths of a second per day, equivalent to an error of one second every 10 years.
In 1735, Harrison built his first chronometer, which he steadily improved on over the next thirty years before submitting it for examination. The clock had many innovations, including the use of bearings to reduce friction, weighted balances to compensate for the ship's pitch and roll in the sea and the use of two different metals to reduce the problem of expansion from heat. The chronometer was tested in 1761 by Harrison's son and by the end of 10 weeks the clock was in error by less than 5 seconds.
Howard Miller 625-323 Alton wall clock. Matte black case with shatter-resistant acrylic crystal. White dial and large, easy-to-read black Arabic numerals. Auto Daylight-Savings movement automatically adjusts for Daylight Savings Time. The hands of the clock follow an LCD display on the back of the clock and make corrections to keep the correct time including Daylight Saving Time corrections.
In mechanical clocks, the low Q of the balance wheel or pendulum oscillator made them very sensitive to the disturbing effect of the impulses of the escapement, so the escapement had a great effect on the accuracy of the clock, and many escapement designs were tried. The higher Q of resonators in electronic clocks makes them relatively insensitive to the disturbing effects of the drive power, so the driving oscillator circuit is a much less critical component.
The pendulum is a reliable time measurer because, for small arcs, the time required for a complete swing (period) depends only on the length of the pendulum and is almost independent of the extent of the arc. The length of a pendulum with a period of one second is about 39 inches (990 mm), and an increase in length of 0.001 inch (0.025 mm) will make the clock lose about one second per day. Altering the length of a pendulum is therefore a sensitive means of regulation. The alteration is usually carried out by allowing the bob to rest upon a nut that can be screwed up or down the pendulum rod.
A major stimulus to improving the accuracy and reliability of clocks was the importance of precise time-keeping for navigation. The position of a ship at sea could be determined with reasonable accuracy if a navigator could refer to a clock that lost or gained less than about 10 seconds per day. This clock could not contain a pendulum, which would be virtually useless on a rocking ship. In 1714, the British government offered large financial rewards to the value of 20,000 pounds, for anyone who could determine longitude accurately. John Harrison, who dedicated his life to improving the accuracy of his clocks, later received considerable sums under the Longitude Act.
“Great little dual alarm clock. Super easy to set the two alarms. Easy to use. It has a night light feature with adjustable dimmer, which is great. You can adjust the display completely dark so you don’t see the numbers. Then you can just hit the snooze button when the alarm is not ringing and the display lights up. It’s powered only by 3 AA batteries: no electric cord, no USB, nothing that you need. If you need a fancy alarm clock that sprays water in your face, this is not it.”