How do we accurately measure time?
January 7, 2010 5:47 PM Subscribe
How did people make clocks more accurate before accurate clocks?
posted by eclecticlibrary to science & nature (26 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I was listening to a podcast recently that mentioned making clocks in the 1700s more accurate, so they could be used for astronomical observations and I was wondering how you make a clock accurate if there is no other accurate time keeping device to use to judge accuracy? What is accuracy judged against for time? In my personal experience of time, it is something that is based on broader astronomical systems, but the detailed level (seconds, even minutes) are based on how clocks record the time.
I suspect this reflects some basic misunderstanding of clocks and time, so I need someone to spell it out for me please.