The invention of the mechanical clock in the 13th century initiated a change in timekeeping methods from continuous processes, such as the motion of the gnomon's shadow on a sundial or the flow of liquid in a water clock, to periodic oscillatory processes, such as the swing of a pendulum or the vibration of a quartz crystal, which had the potential for more accuracy. All modern clocks use oscillation.
Place Sense by Hello on your bedside table, and it will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up without the grogginess or fatigue you may be used to. The small, white orb plays ambient noises to help ease you into dreamland, and a small monitor clipped to your pillow tracks your movements throughout the night, and sends feedback to an app on your smartphone. By monitoring your sleep cycles, the alarm knows the best time to wake you up in the morning so you're feeling refreshed.
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The advantage of a harmonic oscillator over other forms of oscillator is that it employs resonance to vibrate at a precise natural resonant frequency or 'beat' dependent only on its physical characteristics, and resists vibrating at other rates. The possible precision achievable by a harmonic oscillator is measured by a parameter called its Q, or quality factor, which increases (other things being equal) with its resonant frequency. This is why there has been a long term trend toward higher frequency oscillators in clocks. Balance wheels and pendulums always include a means of adjusting the rate of the timepiece. Quartz timepieces sometimes include a rate screw that adjusts a capacitor for that purpose. Atomic clocks are primary standards, and their rate cannot be adjusted.
“Great alarm clock for the price. Gigantic numbers for my old eyes. Very basic, easy to set, just what I wanted. Alarm is loud even on low [with] an awful sound that would wake the dead. But that sound makes me get right up, so it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. If you want a soft gentle caress to wake you, get something else, but this is a good alarm and easy to use.”