As of the 2010s, atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks in existence. They are considerably more accurate than quartz clocks as they can be accurate to within a few seconds over thousands of years. Atomic clocks were first theorized by Lord Kelvin in 1879. In the 1930s the development of Magnetic resonance created practical method for doing this. A prototype ammonia maser device was built in 1949 at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now NIST). Although it was less accurate than existing quartz clocks, it served to demonstrate the concept. The first accurate atomic clock, a caesium standard based on a certain transition of the caesium-133 atom, was built by Louis Essen in 1955 at the National Physical Laboratory in the UK. Calibration of the caesium standard atomic clock was carried out by the use of the astronomical time scale ephemeris time (ET). As of 2013, the most stable atomic clocks are ytterbium clocks, which are stable to within less than two parts in 1 quintillion (2×10−18).
For some scientific work timing of the utmost accuracy is essential. It is also necessary to have a standard of the maximum accuracy against which working clocks can be calibrated. An ideal clock would give the time to unlimited accuracy, but this is not realisable. Many physical processes, in particular including some transitions between atomic energy levels, occur at exceedingly stable frequency; counting cycles of such a process can give a very accurate and consistent time—clocks which work this way are usually called atomic clocks. Such clocks are typically large, very expensive, require a controlled environment, and are far more accurate than required for most purposes; they are typically used in a standards laboratory.
A clock mechanism may be used to control a device according to time, e.g. a central heating system, a VCR, or a time bomb (see: digital counter). Such mechanisms are usually called timers. Clock mechanisms are also used to drive devices such as solar trackers and astronomical telescopes, which have to turn at accurately controlled speeds to counteract the rotation of the Earth.
In the 13th century, Al-Jazari, an engineer from Mesopotamia (lived 1136–1206) who worked for Artuqid king of Diyar-Bakr, Nasir al-Din, made numerous clocks of all shapes and sizes. A book on his work described 50 mechanical devices in 6 categories, including water clocks. The most reputed clocks included the Elephant, Scribe and Castle clocks, all of which have been successfully reconstructed. As well as telling the time, these grand clocks were symbols of status, grandeur and wealth of the Urtuq State.
The British had predominated in watch manufacture for much of the 17th and 18th centuries, but maintained a system of production that was geared towards high quality products for the elite. Although there was an attempt to modernise clock manufacture with mass production techniques and the application of duplicating tools and machinery by the British Watch Company in 1843, it was in the United States that this system took off. In 1816, Eli Terry and some other Connecticut clockmakers developed a way of mass-producing clocks by using interchangeable parts. Aaron Lufkin Dennison started a factory in 1851 in Massachusetts that also used interchangeable parts, and by 1861 was running a successful enterprise incorporated as the Waltham Watch Company.
This farmhouse wall clock measures 36 in. across This farmhouse wall clock measures 36 in. across the face and features horizontal cedar wood slats a white distressed finish hand painted black Roman numerals in a Poster Condensed font and an inner accent ring with individual hour marks. It includes a high torque quartz movement antique-style spade hands and ... More + Product Details Close
Some clocks, usually digital ones, include an optical projector that shines a magnified image of the time display onto a screen or onto a surface such as an indoor ceiling or wall. The digits are large enough to be easily read, without using glasses, by persons with moderately imperfect vision, so the clocks are convenient for use in their bedrooms. Usually, the timekeeping circuitry has a battery as a backup source for an uninterrupted power supply to keep the clock on time, while the projection light only works when the unit is connected to an A.C. supply. Completely battery-powered portable versions resembling flashlights are also available.
You don't have to use all of those features, however. You can set them in a variety of combinations, or even turn all of them off except for the flashing red lights. You can also set the length of the alarm's ring from one to 60 minutes, and choose a snooze option from one to 30 minutes. Plus, the clock has dual alarms, so both you and your partner can have different wake-up times.
Seriously, projection clocks are awesome. Apart from the obvious design perks, you get high-speed USB charging for your phone or tablet overnight. (By the way, we recommend setting multiple alarms no matter what clock you buy, you heavy sleeper, you.) The large LED display of Electrohome EAAC475 is sure to wake you up if the reflection of the projection and the sound doesn’t. You can set this up without worry—power failure doesn’t stand a chance. The lithium-ion battery that’s included in this model acts as a backup power reserve, so you’re never caught with your guard down.
Another type of analog clock is the sundial, which tracks the sun continuously, registering the time by the shadow position of its gnomon. Because the sun does not adjust to daylight saving time, users must add an hour during that time. Corrections must also be made for the equation of time, and for the difference between the longitudes of the sundial and of the central meridian of the time zone that is being used (i.e. 15 degrees east of the prime meridian for each hour that the time zone is ahead of GMT). Sundials use some or part of the 24 hour analog dial. There also exist clocks which use a digital display despite having an analog mechanism—these are commonly referred to as flip clocks. Alternative systems have been proposed. For example, the "Twelv" clock indicates the current hour using one of twelve colors, and indicates the minute by showing a proportion of a circular disk, similar to a moon phase.
Sounds like a Marvel villain if you say it out loud, doesn’t it? Sonic Alert Vibrating Skull Crusher Clock has a bit of edge to it, and like your metal days, it’s going to wake you up with a thunderous roar. You get 113 decibels of noise, which is basically like a crappy $20.00 blender whizzing right next to your head. Hook up your phone or MP3 player to rock out to your tunes in the morning, should you dare. You get a five-dimmer setting for the red LED display, and the 12-volt bone crusher bed shaker, just to make sure you’re really awake in the morning.
This Technology Curved Tabletop Clock and weather instrument offers curve-appeal. It also offers dynamic white LED display with a mirrored lens which can be seen from across the room and in darkened rooms. Features dual alarms with adjustable settings: HI/LO sound volume, programmable alarm days, snooze duration (5-60 mins), and auto-dim. Displays your current indoor temperature (F only) and humidity and can charge a mobile device with a bonus USB port in the back of the clock. Table standing...
“Love how simple this digital timer is. I travel a lot, and it’s small enough to put in my purse. The off button is convenient because it keeps the buttons from being pressed while stored away and conserves the battery, but when you turn it back on, your setting are stored so no need to reset [each] time. … [There’s just the] clock, alarm, snooze, on/off. The smaller and simpler the better when I’m traveling.”