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Professor Einstein Defines A Clock...

From The American Horologist magazine, January 1942


Professor Einstein Defines A Clock...
From New Zealands Horoloical Institute Paper -


When an horologist attempts to define a clock his mind immediately pictures it as a machine. That is the way he understands it best. Science, of course, has an entirely different angle of approach. Here it is from "The Evolution of Physics" - 


"The primitive subjective feeling of time flow enables us to order our impressions, to judge that one event takes place earlier, another later. But to show that the time interval between two events is ten seconds, a clock is needed. By the use of a clock the time concept becomes objective.  Any physical phenomenon may be used as a clock, provided it can be as exactly repeated as many times as desired. Taking the interval between the beginning and the end of such an event as one unit of time, arbitrary time intervals may be measured by repetition of this physical process. All clocks, from the simple hour glass to the most refined instruments, are based on this idea. With the hour glass the unit of time is the interval the sand takes to flow from the upper to the lower glass. The same physical process can be repeated by inverting the glass.


"At two distant points we have two perfect clocks showing exactly the same time. This statement should be true regardless of the care with which we verify it. But what does it really mean? How can we make sure that distant clocks show exactly the same time? One possible method would be to use television. It should be understood that television is used . . . I could stand near one of the clocks and look at a televised picture of the other . . . but this would not be a good proof. The televised picture which was sent a short time before, whereas on the real clock I see "'What is taking place at the present moment. This difficulty can easily be avoided. 1 must take television pictures of the two clocks at a point equally distant from each of them and observe them from this point. . .  if two good clocks observed from the midpoint of the distance between them always show the same time, then they are well suited for designating the time of events at two distant points, etc., etc."
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