06 February 2016
Still life with Silver Cup, Cherries, and Lemon with Leaves
Oil on linen on panel, 8x10 inches, 2016
I thought I'd share a fascinating article in Scientific American about "Why is a minute divided into 60 seconds, an hour into 60 minutes, yet there are only 24 hours in a day?" Here's an excerpt:
"Thanks to the ancient civilizations that defined and preserved the divisions of time, modern society still conceives of a day of 24 hours, an hour of 60 minutes and a minute of 60 seconds. Advances in the science of timekeeping, however, have changed how these units are defined. Seconds were once derived by dividing astronomical events into smaller parts, with the International System of Units (SI) at one time defining the second as a fraction of the mean solar day and later relating it to the tropical year. This changed in 1967, when the second was redefined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 energy transitions of the cesium atom. This re-characterization ushered in the era of atomic timekeeping and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Interestingly, in order to keep atomic time in agreement with astronomical time, leap seconds occasionally must be added to UTC. Thus, not all minutes contain 60 seconds. A few rare minutes, occurring at a rate of about eight per decade, actually contain 61." [source]
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