The apparent position of the Sun in the sky moves over the course of each day, reflecting the rotation of the Earth. Shadows cast by stationary objects move correspondingly, so their positions can be used to indicate the time of day. A sundial shows the time by displaying the position of a shadow on a (usually) flat surface, which has markings that correspond to the hours. Sundials can be horizontal, vertical, or in other orientations. Sundials were widely used in ancient times. With the knowledge of latitude, a well-constructed sundial can measure local solar time with reasonable accuracy, within a minute or two. Sundials continued to be used to monitor the performance of clocks until the modern era.
In atomic clocks the controller is an evacuated microwave cavity attached to a microwave oscillator controlled by a microprocessor. A thin gas of caesium atoms is released into the cavity where they are exposed to microwaves. A laser measures how many atoms have absorbed the microwaves, and an electronic feedback control system called a phase-locked loop tunes the microwave oscillator until it is at the frequency that causes the atoms to vibrate and absorb the microwaves. Then the microwave signal is divided by digital counters to become the clock signal.
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.
Electric currents can be used to replace the weight or spring as a source of power and as a means of signaling time indications from a central master clock to a wide range of distant indicating dials. Invented in 1840, the first battery electric clock was driven by a spring and pendulum and employed an electrical impulse to operate a number of dials. Considerable experimental work followed, and it was not until 1906 that the first self-contained battery-driven clock was invented.
Bring home this table clock that showcases an antique-inspired look. Measuring 18'' H x 15'' W x 5'' D, it's the perfect piece to place on a bookshelf or desktop for a practical yet decorative accent. Made in a traditional, alarm-clock inspired style, it features a distressed gray metal frame and feet. Its face displays an off-white background and faded roman numerals, as well as an hour hand, minute hand, and ornamental gears in the center. It accommodates one AA battery to help keep you on...
“The alarm is loud with a lower frequency melody which I like since I have high-frequency hearing loss. Guaranteed to wake anyone up when the alarm goes off which is super important to me, especially if I’m using the alarm clock to wake up to catch a flight. … When the alarm goes off, press the large snooze bar on the top to have the alarm go off again in five minutes. Pressing the snooze bar on top at anytime also lights up the numbers and bars on the clock’s face, but the hands are a bit hard to see in the dark since the hands don’t light up. When the alarm on/off switch is turned to the off position, there’s a cute voice that says ‘Good Morning!’ which brings a smile to start the day. We love this clock so much, we plan to buy more to give as gifts. We’re sure the recipients will love it as much as we do.”