[LEAPSECS] What timekeeping system should the Terra Nova settlers use?

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Mon Oct 3 13:03:40 EDT 2011

On Oct 3, 2011, at 9:20 AM, Warner Losh wrote:

> On Oct 3, 2011, at 8:15 AM, Rob Seaman wrote:

>> I'm taken by your mention of Hertz as the unit of TAI. That's an interesting way to break the artificial symmetry between the two meanings of the word "second". Might be some play there. The unit of atomic time is frequency, the unit of civil time is angles, fractions of a day. Retire the unit of the "second" entirely.


> Wouldn't that be imperial ounces vs US ounces all over again?

Volume is volume. Time is many things.

> It would also break the conversion from the frequency domain to the time domain and vice versa.

No, it would recognize that what we call time-of-day is an angle, and only approximately either frequency or time. As has been said innumerable times, astronomers are power users of high precision timescales and appreciate the use of atomic time for frequency standards and precise time intervals. This does not describe civil timekeeping. (And that statement is not support for advocating being able to do any damn thing we want :-)

> It is a quaint notion, but I don't think that dog would hunt.

I'll take a quaint dog. One of the tenets of problem solving is not to shoot down ideas too early in the brainstorming phase.


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