Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time 2

A "chronometer" is a portable timekeeper that meets certain precision standards. Initially, the term was used to refer to the marine chronometer, a timepiece used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation. More recently, the term has also been applied to the watch, a wristwatch that meets precision standards set by the Swiss agency COSC. Over 1,000,000 "Officially Certified Chronometer" certificates, mostly for mechanical wrist-chronometers (wristwatches) with sprung balance oscillators, are being delivered each year, after passing the COSC's most severe tests and being singly identified by an officially recorded individual serial number. According to COSC, a chronometer is a high-precision watch capable of displaying the seconds and housing a movement that has been tested over several days, in different positions, and

at different temperatures, by an official, neutral body (COSC). Each movement is individually tested for several consecutive days, in five positions and at three temperatures. Any watch with the denomination "chronometer" is provided with a certified movement.
The most accurate type of timekeeping device is currently the atomic clock, which are accurate to seconds in many thousands of years, and are used to calibrate other clock and timekeeping instruments. Atomic clocks use the spin property of the caesium atom as its basis, and since 1967, the International System of Measurements bases its unit of time, the second, on the properties of caesium. SI defines the second as 9,192,631,770 cycles of the radiation which corresponds to the transition between two electron spin energy levels of the ground state of the 133Cs atom.
Today, the GPS global positioning systems in coordination with the NTP network time protocol can be used to synchronize timekeeping systems across the globe.

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