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Stephen Hawking to unveil strange new way to tell the time

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posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 10:55 PM
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Stephen Hawking to unveil strange new way to tell the time


www.telegraph.co.uk

Prof Stephen Hawking is to unveil a remarkable £500,000 clock with no hands that pays tribute to the world's greatest clockmaker.

He calls the new version of the escapement a 'Chronophage' (time-eater) - "a fearsome beast which drives the clock, literally "eating away time".

The Chronophage "hypnotises the watcher with its perpetual motion, punctuated by an extraordinary repertoire of slow blinks, jaw-snaps and stings from its tail," says Dr Taylor.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 10:55 PM
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Wow....This is a scary looking machine. Looks like something the evil wizard Saruman the White would have on his mantelpiece!

Can anybody explain to me how this thing works....in simple terms?

www.telegraph.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 11:06 PM
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(waiting for threads to start popping up stating Hawking's evil time machine will stop time, universe)



posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 11:12 PM
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The Chronophage "hypnotises the watcher with its perpetual motion, punctuated by an extraordinary repertoire of slow blinks, jaw-snaps and stings from its tail," says Dr Taylor.

The Corpus Clock, which is wound up by an electric motor, has no hands. "It is a new way to show time, with light," said Dr Taylor.



Its massive round face, nearly four feet in diameter, was engineered from a single sheet of stainless steel, the moldings - like a series of waves rippling outwards - were blasted into place by precisely-controlled explosions under the sea. On the hour, a chain drops into a wooden coffin hidden behind the clock "to remind us of our mortality," he said.



The clock also plays tricks on the observer, seeming occasionally to pause, run unevenly and even go backwards. All this is achieved through mechanics rather than computer programming.


'Stephen Hawking to unveil strange new way to tell the time'



[edit on 14-9-2008 by arktkchr]



posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 11:22 PM
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Hmm I was hoping for some great technology to answer the question "what is time".

It looks cool. Maybe I'm missing something.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:19 AM
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All I can decipher from this is he's just made a fancy clock.

I mean, yeah it looks really neat and all... but it seems to still use the same premise of telling time. Two hands deciphering hour and minute, and another depicting seconds.



[EDIT]
I may have figured it out...

Now that I look again... look at the slits. Notice the slight offset from hole to hole? Not exactly lining up are they...

Anyone familiar with using analog micrometers and calipers? You'll get what I'm hinting at here...

Remember how your measurement is made by where the lines line up, not by any one indicator?
I'll bet the light is only visible when it lines up perfectly with those perforations, meaning, the entire shell rotates at the same speed, and there's a light pattern behind it which indicates seconds, minutes, and hours as they individually line up with the perforations.
The lights don't turn on and off to indicate the hands, that would be too easy.

Lets take for example the minute hand.
There will be X amount of perforations for the minute hand.
And there will be (X - 1) light indicators behind it, meaning as it rotates, you can only see the light from behind when it perfectly lines up with one of the perforations.

Same goes with hour and second hands.
Well, that's what I can decipher from it.

Not really anything new, this system of measurement has been around for a long time, micrometers, calipers... slide rules... but it's definitely a clever way to represent the hands on a clock.

[edit on 15-9-2008 by johnsky]



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by johnsky
 


Yup - it's essentially that. It uses blue LEDs behind said slits, and yup - when they line up, you see the light.

The whole thing is a clock in reverse. The escapement is what you see on the outside, as opposed to it being on the inside. It's a tribute to John Harrison who made the most accurate marine chronometers, allowing navigators to calculate their longitude. His machines were incredibly accurate. So much so that the guy pretty much killed himself by working on them all the time. I saw a fascinating documentary by Prof. Heinz Wolff on the TV about it. The clocks had to keep incredibly accurate time regardless of where they were, or what the ship was doing. Every single interference the ship could have over the clock had to be taken out - such as having contra-swinging pendulums (to eradicate the error of a rolling ship), and bimetalic strips in the escapement to correct for temperature changes, by automatically adjusting the escapement's effect on the time keeping). Absolutely fascinating. The thinking of the day was "the larger the clock the more accurate", but Mr. Harrison made a small deck watch (used to convey the time from the large clock, usually held in the hold midships, where the ship's movement would be the smallest) up to the deck (where the navigator would use the sun's position to work out local noon, the difference being the longitude). What he discovered was that the smaller clock was more accurate than his large clock, which itself was more accurate (by fantastic amounts) than any other clock in the world.

A truly great man. It seems a £500,000 clock with LEDs isn't enough for the sacrifice and effort John Harrison spent on making marine navigation accurate.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:37 AM
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Thank you dave420, I'm glad someone else understood it as well.

I've just come up with my own variant of the concept, just did the math, and I'm going to see if the current standing patents are different enough from my design to allow for a variant application to be filed.

Should be able to make my variant for the same price as your standard wall clock. Wish me luck.

I'm going to make one from my design for myself regardless, it should make for a great conversation piece.

[edit on 15-9-2008 by johnsky]



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:45 AM
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I don't know about most here but I am fascinated by this man. What a pioneer and brain child. I hope that he comes up with something that will put his name on the scientific map before he succumbs to this debilitating disease.

Stephen Hawking ROCKS!

This is when I wish we had dancing bananas on this site!!!!



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:49 AM
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It just seems like a fancy clock that may light up in certain sections. Reminds me of a fancy gambling machine I saw in Vegas, I can't remember exactly where though, does that sound familiar to anyone?



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:57 AM
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I admire and respect Hawkins. However this project is like putting together a crystal radio set for him.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by jpm1602
I admire and respect Hawkins. However this project is like putting together a crystal radio set for him.


all Hawkins is doing is unveiling it he didnt build design or do anything towards its creation

its just the way the quotes are quoted

so its a mechanical/electric fancy clock that uses light not hands to tell the time

a digital watch without the digits



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:03 PM
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what you cannot see from just the picture is the beauty and symbolism of the clock. this is only really apparent when you see it in motion. it is beautifully, beautifully made- almost an art piece. It can also do some strange things, at irregular intervals, meaning people will watch it until it does something.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by Reddupo
Hmm I was hoping for some great technology to answer the question "what is time".

It looks cool. Maybe I'm missing something.



I agree with redd, whats the big deal? And I can even read what time it says,,3oClock (10 Seconds past)



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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Here's the image from the Wiki page:



Grasshopper Escapement

HTH.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 07:26 PM
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I wanted to find a nice video to see it in action and there is one.

www.youtube.com...

looks amazing



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 07:37 PM
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The seconds-hand makes one full rotation of the clock face each second. That is all I see different than a standard clock.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 01:43 PM
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Another vid here showing it working with the onlookers totally bemused?

I got to say I really love this clock!




posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by muddyhoop

Stephen Hawking to unveil strange new way to tell the time


www.telegraph.co.uk

Prof Stephen Hawking is to unveil a remarkable £500,000 clock with no hands that pays tribute to the world's greatest clockmaker.

He calls the new version of the escapement a 'Chronophage' (time-eater) - "a fearsome beast which drives the clock, literally "eating away time".

The Chronophage "hypnotises the watcher with its perpetual motion, punctuated by an extraordinary repertoire of slow blinks, jaw-snaps and stings from its tail," says Dr Taylor.
(visit the link for the full news article)



There's got to be some way to wind or power it. There's no such thing as perpetual motion in a gravity environment. It's physically impossible.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by muddyhoop
Can anybody explain to me how this thing works....in simple terms?


It's just a digital clock (that winds up so the grasshopper will toggle back and forth) with lights instead of hands. It's just a piece of artwork, not any kind of new way of measuring time by a strange theory, or anything like that.



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