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Stephen Hawking to unveil strange new way to tell the time
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/09/14/scihawking114.xml ^ | 6:01pm BST 14/09/2008 | Roger Highfield

Posted on 09/28/2008 6:14:20 AM PDT by Cvengr

Prof Stephen Hawking is to unveil a remarkable £1 million clock with no hands that pays tribute to the world's greatest clockmaker.

One clock made by the legendary John Harrison, the pioneer of longitude, took 36 years to build and he was still calibrating it when he died at his home in London on March 24, 1776, his 83rd birthday.

The Corpus Clock will be unveiled by Prof Stephen Hawking The Corpus Clock will be unveiled by Prof Stephen Hawking The Corpus Clock has been invented and designed by Dr John Taylor for Corpus Christi College Cambridge for the exterior of the college's new library building.

It will be unveiled on 19 September by Prof Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and author of the global bestseller, A Brief History of Time.

Dr Taylor, an inventor and horologist who studied at the College in the 1950s has put £1 million of his own money and five years into the project.

"One of my heroes is John Harrison," he says.

Of Harrison's many innovations, he came up with the 'grasshopper escapement', explained Dr Taylor, referring to the device used by Harrison to turn rotational motion into a pendulum motion for timekeeping.

"No one knows how a grasshopper escapement works, so I decided to turn the clock inside out and, instead of making the escape wheel 35 mm across and hidden in the case, it is 1.5 m across and visible with the grasshopper escapement around the outside," said Dr Taylor.

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

It is the largest Grasshopper escapement of any clock in the world.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: clock; hawking; stephen; time
About time.


1 posted on 09/28/2008 6:14:22 AM PDT by Cvengr
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To: Cvengr

I didn’t have the time to read the whole article but I’m pretty sure the clocks on my wall will work just fine at a considerable savings. Cool clock though. Hawkings stuff mostly just goes over my head


2 posted on 09/28/2008 6:19:10 AM PDT by refermech
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To: refermech

The alien bug-like motif sure is difficult to blend into most decors. Go figure.


3 posted on 09/28/2008 6:22:03 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

Pretty cool. Hawking doesn’t have anything to do with the clock—he’s just given the honors of unveiling it. I’d love to see this thing in action. Very interesting.


4 posted on 09/28/2008 6:24:02 AM PDT by Ilya Mourometz
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To: Cvengr

Nerd porn.


5 posted on 09/28/2008 6:25:14 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: Cvengr
The Corpus Clock will be unveiled by Prof Stephen Hawking The Corpus Clock will be unveiled by Prof Stephen Hawking...It will be unveiled on 19 September by Prof Stephen Hawking...

Good article, but who's unveiling it? :-)

6 posted on 09/28/2008 6:26:11 AM PDT by rickmichaels (God Bless America, Land That I Love)
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To: Cvengr
It's the rollout of the Clinton Backwards Wrist Watch retro model?


7 posted on 09/28/2008 6:30:59 AM PDT by steelyourfaith
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To: rickmichaels

I’m doing everything I can to resist those mental images of Hawking in a wheelchair desperately manipulating his mouthstick on the large canvas covering the timepiece.

If I recall, he has lost even that dexterity, but I maybe mistaken. Interesting fellow.


8 posted on 09/28/2008 6:32:14 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
The mechanical part with the lights would be fun to see. The chain dropping in the coffin is kinda out there.
9 posted on 09/28/2008 6:38:07 AM PDT by Mark was here (The earth is bipolar.)
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To: Cvengr

It’s not a “new way to tell time”, it’s just a gimmicky electro-mechanical clock. It’s boooring.

The article is very disappointing, especially since it evokes the name of a prominent physicist, Steven Hawking.

Timekeeping boasts a truly fascinating history, running from ancient Babylon, through Chinese water clocks, sundials, Galileo’s pendulum, the Harrison chronometer onward through general relativity to today’s atomic clocks. It’s a story that is far from finished.

There are a thousand fascinating branches and digressions in the story of timekeeping. This is not one of them.


10 posted on 09/28/2008 6:45:00 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The Democratic Party strongly supports full civil rights for necro-Americans.)
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To: Cvengr

For true gear heads only!
http://www.answers.com/topic/grasshopper-escapement?method=26&initiator=CANS

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hall/3934/grassh.html


11 posted on 09/28/2008 6:45:23 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: refermech

One million dollars? Is it solid gold?


12 posted on 09/28/2008 6:48:51 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Cvengr
Cool! See it in action at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHO1JTNPPOU
13 posted on 09/28/2008 6:51:03 AM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: DUMBGRUNT

Interesting read. Thanks.


14 posted on 09/28/2008 6:52:20 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

Too bad there’s no video. A static picture doesn’t cut it.


15 posted on 09/28/2008 6:53:02 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Cvengr
On the hour, a chain drops into a wooden coffin hidden behind the clock "to remind us of our mortality," he said.

Go great with my poster.


16 posted on 09/28/2008 7:02:09 AM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
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To: Cvengr
You call that a clock? That's not a clock. THIS is a clock.
17 posted on 09/28/2008 7:07:07 AM PDT by Maceman (If you're not getting a tax cut, you're getting a pay cut.)
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To: Cvengr
*** If I recall, he has lost even that dexterity, but I maybe mistaken. Interesting fellow. ***

Yes he did. Its pretty sad to see him now. A Grad Student does all the work *guessing* what Hawking wants by his eye movements.

['He's' working on a new Black Hole theory, prolly never get completed.]

18 posted on 09/28/2008 7:13:40 AM PDT by Condor51 (I have guns in my nightstand because a Cop won't fit)
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To: DUMBGRUNT

From a gearhead, thanks for the great links.


19 posted on 09/28/2008 7:13:49 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Cvengr

Here’s a fun clock

http://www.childrensmuseum.org/themuseum/icons/waterclock.htm


20 posted on 09/28/2008 7:19:02 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Condor51

I think my washing machine was designed by Hawking. Every once in a while a strange sock appears from seemingly out of nowhere in it. I just know they had to come from somewhere. Incredulous!


21 posted on 09/28/2008 7:19:46 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: DManA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHO1JTNPPOU


22 posted on 09/28/2008 7:24:52 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Cvengr
*** I think my washing machine was designed by Hawking. Every once in a while a strange sock appears from seemingly out of nowhere in it. I just know they had to come from somewhere. Incredulous! ***

Hawking must have designed our Dryer too, I think that's MY Sock!

That little prankster must have designed them with Wormholes that only he can control.

23 posted on 09/28/2008 7:25:57 AM PDT by Condor51 (I have guns in my nightstand because a Cop won't fit)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Fantastic. Thank you.


24 posted on 09/28/2008 7:36:28 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Cvengr

I kind of want to watch the unveiling for several reasons, including a couple that would seem mean if I posted them.


25 posted on 09/28/2008 9:20:28 AM PDT by SlapHappyPappy
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To: Cvengr
'Chronophage' (time-eater) - "a fearsome beast which drives the clock, literally "eating away time"
Sort of like a Langolier...
26 posted on 09/28/2008 9:24:00 AM PDT by mikrofon (Time to go)
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