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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).
Shop alarm clocks, watches, and timers designed to wake up all types of sleepers. Standard alarm clocks are not very effective at waking deep sleepers or people with a hearing loss, especially those who are severely hard of hearing or deaf. The alarm clocks include a combination of features, such as extra loud alarms, vibrating bed shakers, lamp flashers and bright strobe light that's sure to wake you up! Discover new arrivals or shop clock favorites from Sonic Alert, Global Assistive Devices, Bellman, iLuv and more!
With the application of the synchronous electric motor to clocks in 1918, domestic electric clocks became popular. A synchronous electric motor runs in step with the frequency of the electric power source, which in most countries alternates at 60 hertz (cycles per second). The electric motor is coupled to a reduction gearing that drives the clock hands at the correct rate.
Simple clocks intended mainly for notification were installed in towers, and did not always require faces or hands. They would have announced the canonical hours or intervals between set times of prayer. Canonical hours varied in length as the times of sunrise and sunset shifted. The more sophisticated astronomical clocks would have had moving dials or hands, and would have shown the time in various time systems, including Italian hours, canonical hours, and time as measured by astronomers at the time. Both styles of clock started acquiring extravagant features such as automata.
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In Chinese culture, giving a clock (送鍾/送钟, sòng zhōng) is often taboo, especially to the elderly as the term for this act is a homophone with the term for the act of attending another's funeral (送終/送终, sòngzhōng). A UK government official Susan Kramer gave a watch to Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je unaware of such a taboo which resulted in some professional embarrassment and a pursuant apology.
Until advances in the late twentieth century, navigation depended on the ability to measure latitude and longitude. Latitude can be determined through celestial navigation; the measurement of longitude requires accurate knowledge of time. This need was a major motivation for the development of accurate mechanical clocks. John Harrison created the first highly accurate marine chronometer in the mid-18th century. The Noon gun in Cape Town still fires an accurate signal to allow ships to check their chronometers. Many buildings near major ports used to have (some still do) a large ball mounted on a tower or mast arranged to drop at a pre-determined time, for the same purpose. While satellite navigation systems such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) require unprecedentedly accurate knowledge of time, this is supplied by equipment on the satellites; vehicles no longer need timekeeping equipment.
The timekeeping part of all weight-driven clocks, including large tower clocks, is substantially the same. The figure shows the mechanism of a simple weight-driven timepiece with a pendulum. The frame is made up of two plates that carry the pivots of the various wheels and other moving parts and that are united and spaced by four pillars. The driving weight hangs from a line coiled around a barrel or sprocket, which is raised by turning the winding square or, in some cases, by pulling on the line. The main wheel engages with the centre pinion, on the arbor (axle) of which is also mounted the centre wheel. The front pivot of this wheel and pinion is lengthened to the right of the illustration; it carries the minute hand and part of the gearing necessary to drive the hour hand.
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.
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.
“This alarm clock will wake you up! I’m totally deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other. Alarm clocks I used before I purchased this one might as well have been turned off if I happened to have my good ear on the pillow when they went off. This one is loud! Now having said that, its loudness is adjustable, and I found that a low setting of two works just fine for me, but if I am particularly concerned about being awakened, I also set the vibrating disk, which is slipped under the mattress. Believe me: Even if you are totally deaf in both ears, this will wake you up. I was skeptical about the vibrator because I have a thick mattress, but it works with no problem at all! I wholeheartedly recommend this alarm clock for anyone who is hearing impaired.”