Extra tick restarts time, tech debate

Dec 26, 2005

Time marches on and so does the debate over whether a "leap second" does any good in helping Earth catch up with the world's atomic clocks.

At any rate, an extra second will be added again as 2005 ticks away -- the first in seven years -- so time and technology will be starting out the new year in sync.

Its arrival will be closely watched by physicists and astronomers enmeshed in a prolonged debate over the need, the Washington Post said Monday.

Some experts think the leap second should be abolished because the periodic adjustment of time imposes unreasonable and perhaps dangerous disruptions on precision software.

Others, however, argue that it would be expensive to adjust satellites, telescopes and other astronomical systems that are hard-wired for the leap second. Researchers hope to find out soon whether the leap second really is disruptive.

The length of Earth's day is increasing by about two milliseconds per century because of the tides.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak

Related Stories

Why we need to keep adding leap seconds

7 hours ago

Today at precisely 10am Australian Eastern Standard time, something chronologically peculiar will take place: there'll be an extra second between 09:59:59 and 10:00:00.

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

Jul 03, 2015

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

Jul 03, 2015

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.