Amazon.com founder to make 10,000 year clock

Jun 23, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon.com has embarked on an interesting and unique project that, if all goes well, will last the test of time, a whole lot of time. He is looking to create a clock that is able to run for 10,000 years.

If, at first, this sounds like a bit of a strange project you have to understand why Mr. Bezos wants to make a giant clock that will keep long after his great-great-grandchildren are dead and gone and Amazon.com is less than a faint memory in the collective of the web.

To Mr. Bezos the clock is not just about creating a timepieces that will give him the ultimate in bragging rights, even among the super rich. It is his hope that by building a clock meant to stand the ages it will alter the way that humans think about time and the way that we act, encouraging to take a longer-term view.

The clock, which will be built into a mountain ridge, represents a monumental feat of engineering, since it will have to run for as long as it took to create all of . Keeping a clock operational and accurate over this epic of a time span is no small feat. The clocks accuracy will be maintained by a complex set of calculations made by the Jet Propulsion Laboratories that will calculate the suns position at noon for the next 10 . This will allow the clock to automatically correct its time.

$42 million has already been put towards the creation of the to date, all of it from Mr. Bezos private fortune.

Explore further: Visual search to shop: gimmick or game changing?

More information: www.10000yearclock.net/learnmore.html and longnow.org/clock/

Related Stories

Clocking in and out of gene expression

Jun 14, 2007

A chemical signal acts as time clock in the expression of genes controlled by a master gene called a coactivator, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report that appears in the journal Cell today.

New method developed for synchronizing clocks

Jul 20, 2010

Maintaining the correct time is no longer just a matter of keeping your watch wound -- especially when it comes to computers, telecommunications, and other complex systems. The clocks in these devices must stay accurate to ...

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.

Optical Atomic Clock: A long look at the captured atoms

Feb 05, 2008

Optical clocks might become the atomic clocks of the future. Their "pendulum", i.e. the regular oscillation process which each clock needs, is an oscillation in the range of the visible light. As its frequency is higher than ...

Recommended for you

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

2 hours ago

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

Watching others play video games is the new spectator sport

8 hours ago

As the UK's largest gaming festival, Insomnia, wrapped up its latest event on August 25, I watched a short piece of BBC Breakfast news reporting from the festival. The reporter and some of the interviewees appeared baff ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dbaz1
4.7 / 5 (3) Jun 23, 2011
This article is short on information such as this clock has been in development for 10 years by the LongNow Foundation that was founded by Danny Hillis. This clock is the personal vision of Danny Hillis and was featured in WIred magazine many years ago. There is a lot of good information on the design of this clock that is worth reading.
Bobamus_Prime
5 / 5 (3) Jun 23, 2011
I think this is a great idea. Humanity in general doesn't think of the future, especially more than two or three generations down the line. More people need to think about the long term implications of everything they do and this would be a great way to change the mindset of many individuals I think.
Etreum
1 / 5 (1) Jun 23, 2011
What kind of alloys it is made of? How about lubrication?
Also, location? and also, what's the energy source?
yyz
not rated yet Jun 23, 2011


Wired has recently posted a longer article (& more videos) about this clock: http://www.wired....ck/all/1

"What kind of alloys it is made of? How about lubrication?"

According to the article, metals used in clock construction are 316 stainless steel and titanium. Gear bearings use zirconium nitride ceramic, developed for aerospace apps, that doesn't require lubrication.

"This clock is the personal vision of Danny Hillis and was featured in WIred magazine many years ago."

Here's a link to the 1995 Wired article by Hillis: http://www.wired....ock.html

pt30
not rated yet Jun 24, 2011
Could be spending the money on something more useful, than putting a clock down a hole.
hb_
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2011
Even if you beleive that the clock bearings can actually hold up for 10 000 years, you still have to account for dust and dirst. A small grain of sand will increase the wear tremendously. And what about dust? Is the clock meant to be air tight?

To the energy source. For these time spans I can only imagine a nuclear source, but how do you keep the non-fuel parts going? Even solid state devices brake down after a sufficient time.

What happens if the optical window gets obstructed or dirty? How can they prevent that over the next 10 000 years?

Bah, the idea is humbug!