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: Changing dinosaur tracks spurs novel approach

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Laser researchers revolutionize aviation industry

Apr 07, 2014

(Phys.org) —Most people don't realize it, but the airplane they are flying on may be stronger and safer thanks to a pair of former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers who developed and commercialized ...

HFML sets world record with a new 38 tesla magnet

Mar 31, 2014

The High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML) at the Radboud University Nijmegen set a new world record today: the generation of a continuous magnetic field of 38 tesla in a resistive (i.e. non-superconducting) ...

Viewer interface for TV layers Web content for context

Mar 08, 2014

(Phys.org) —In past years, the television was less fondly called the idiot box. Today the TV is more fondly being promoted as a potential informationalized box, signified by technology offered by a new ...

Quantum physics secures new cryptography scheme

Mar 12, 2014

The way we secure digital transactions could soon change. An international team has demonstrated a form of quantum cryptography that can protect people doing business with others they may not know or trust ...

Rocket launches into an aurora to study auroral swirls

Mar 07, 2014

If you've ever wondered what makes the aurora take on the amazing forms it does you've got company. Marilia Samara and the crew of aurora researchers at Alaska's Poker Flat Range head up the NASA-funded Ground-to-Rocket Electrodynamics-Electrons Correlative Experiment, ...

Gaia comes into focus

Feb 06, 2014

(Phys.org) —Europe's billion-star surveyor Gaia is slowly being brought into focus.

Recommended for you

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

13 hours ago

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

16 hours ago

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

16 hours ago

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

16 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...