Clockmaker develops accurate tide clock

Jan 05, 2007

A Scottish clockmaker, accepting the gauntlet tossed in 2005, said he developed a clock that accurately predicts the time the tides roll in.

Archie McQuater's design is about twice as accurate as existing models, the Scotsman said. By accounting for the movement of the sun, his machine approximates computer tide estimates.

McQuater, 78, created the Moon and Sun Tidal Clock in answer to a challenge made in 2005 to develop a design to improve the moon time clocks. Before computers, sailors and fishermen relied on moon clocks, which have been around since the 17th century.

"A normal clock is affected by the moon only. It's not precise, as by the time the moon is 3 1/2 days old the tide is actually later than it predicts," McQuater said. "What I have made is affected by the sun as well and is much more accurate."

McQuater said he doesn't plan to market his design.

John Amson, a former St. Andrews University lecturer who issued the challenge, said McQuater's achievement was very significant.

"Archie has built the first addition to the clockwork to show the effect of the sun," Amson said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Bacteria renew mystery over Chilean poet Neruda's death

Related Stories

How bad can solar storms get?

20 hours ago

Our sun regularly pelts the Earth with all kinds of radiation and charged particles. How bad can these solar storms get?

A guide to Saturn through opposition 2015

May 13, 2015

The month of May generally means the end of star party season here in Florida, as schools let out in early June, and humid days make for thunderstorm-laden nights. This also meant that we weren't about to ...

Video: An enormous "plasma snake" erupts from the Sun

May 01, 2015

Over the course of April 28–29 a gigantic filament, briefly suspended above the surface of the sun, broke off and created an enormous snakelike eruption of plasma that extended millions of miles out into ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria renew mystery over Chilean poet Neruda's death

10 hours ago

Family of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda said Thursday forensic experts have found evidence of a massive bacterial infection in his remains, increasing their suspicion that he was poisoned by dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime.

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.