Time is a funny thing, and measuring time can get pretty wild too.
Take this new research by two scientists in the UK, who just came to an unusual conclusion about clocks: namely, the ones that are hotter appear to be more accurate.
That doesn’t mean that the cheap gizmo you got at a yard sale five years ago, the one that gets burning hot if you leave it plugged in for more than an hour, is better than an atomic clock.
Let’s explain what it does mean.
The scientists created a very simple clock that could measure time, while they controlled the amount of energy that went in and measured how much heat came out.
And they found that the more energy they added, the more accurate the clock was.
That may sound strange, except that it actually fits with a key law of thermodynamics.
There are certain processes that have to release heat to work, like mechanical engines or computer processing.
And there’s only so efficient a machine can get (and probably computing can only work so fast).
This study seems to suggest that there’s an energy cost for measuring time, too, and probably a limit to how accurate we’ll be able to make them.
If that bums you out, remember that the atomic clocks we have now are only off by about one second per several billion years.
Still pretty accurate.
Signs, signs, everywhere signs, except in a recent project by photographer Rumi Ando.
She took photos of Tokyo, only with things like signs, cables, doors and windows removed.
The images almost look like paintings, and they also prompt you to ask what – or who – actually makes a busy city feel busy.
Clocks that tell time more accurately use more energy – new research (The Conversation)