10.000 year "Clock of the Long Now"

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by miko, Oct 12, 2005.

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  1. miko

    miko Registered User

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    A very interesting article on a clock designed to run for 10,000 years. The article is in Novembers issue of " Dicover" magazine.
     
  2. miko

    miko Registered User

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    10.000 year clock

    A very interesting article on a clock designed to run for 10,000 years. The article is in Novembers issue of " Dicover" magazine.
     
  3. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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  4. Richard T.

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    10.000 year clock

    I wonder if this is the same clock that appeared in Scientific American a couple of years ago? Will see if I can find my copy.

    Regards,

    Richard T.
     
  5. Jeff C

    Jeff C Registered User
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    The 10,000 Year Clock

    Came across this interesting article on CNET about a "10,000 Year Clock" and its conceptual idea. Quite fascinating in my opinion. Hope this wasn't previously posted.



    CNET Article with pictures and links
     
  6. Jim_Miller

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    Interesting article indeed. Thanks for posting the link Jeff.
     
  7. John Hubby

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    This is the "ultimate" torsion pendulum clock. I had the pleasure of working with Alexander Rose, now the Executive Director for the Long Now Foundation, in discussing torsion spring theory when they were in the initial development stage of the suspension spring for this clock.

    Alexander presented the James Arthur lecture at the October 2003 Ward Francillon Time Symposium in St. Louis, that featured all manner of torsion pendulum clocks. His presentation was certainly eye-opening with his description of establishing a new paradigm in timekeeping.
     
  8. Bill Ward

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    I heard that a version of this clock was running at the London Science Museum. Does anyone know if it's still there, and if it's running? Thanks!
     
  9. clockdude

    clockdude Registered User

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    I found out that they might be making plans to add a chiming part to the clock. I think the chimes will go off once a day.
     
  10. R.G.B.

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    Thanks Jeff, looking forward to following it's progress.
     
  11. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #11 John Hubby, Apr 30, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    The first prototype model is still on exhibit at the London Science Museum, and it is fitted with a striking function. As I recall it sounds once a YEAR at 00:00 hours GMT on the first day of the new year, not each day. It strikes multiple times for the entry of each millennium, the brief article in the link mentions it striking twice to mark the entry of the year 2000. Actually, it should have struck twice on January 1 of the year 2001 to measure the true calendar millennium, remember there is no "year zero".

    There is a lot more information about the prototype and ongoing development on the Long Now Foundation website.
     
  12. Bryan Prindle

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    Maybe it's just me, or I read too many science fiction books as a kid, but when you start talking about a 10,000 year clock I have visions of the human species being extinct and space travelers from another solar system landing on earth finding this clock. I can just hear them, "The species that lived on this plant is extinct, the city's are in ruins, but we did find this one mechanism which looks like it may be a time keeping instrument of some sort... and Captain it's still running." :confused:

    To me it's just creepy building something that will outlast the species that built it. :(

    10,000 years is a long time...

    Bryan
     
  13. R.G.B.

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    Maybe for those of us with short attention spans they could have it chime more than once every hundred years as well. Just an idea. ;)
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

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    Re: The 10,000 Year Clock

    An interesting spin off from the Long Now Foundation is the concept of the Long Bet. If you follow the links from their web site you can uncover some interesting wagers.

    Could you imagine that in 2,000 years humans will have an average lifespan of 4 or 5 thousand years. If that were to come to pass, the striking of the 100 year marks could get to be really annoying. :cool:

    Another interesting thought is to consider if you know of anything related to humanity that has maintained its essential characteristics for 10,000 years. I think the longest surviving human structures currently are Y chromosomes but I don't know if there are any estimates on the rate of change of Y chromosomes.
     
  15. cstan

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  16. harold bain

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    Don't call me when it stops:eek::eek::rolleyes::Party:
     
  17. Dave B

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    Nice! Wouldn't it be interesting to work on it! What a kick. :)
     
  18. Tony10Clocks

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    It'll take 10,000 years to find out where to wind it up:D
     
  19. Kevin W.

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    There is a shortage of clock repair people now, will there be any repair peopel around 10,000 years from now.:confused:
     
  20. shutterbug

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    I've heard about the clock. Seems like it was a very deep (like 4 miles??) pendulum, torsion style and extremely slow moving. But 10000 years? Give me a break. If it lasted five percent of that, I'd be surprised. :)
     
  21. Oldfathertime

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    The owners will have to make sure that they leave for perpituity a written document as to when it has to be wound again! ;)

    This reminds me of something similar that I saw in a building in Bristol (UK) as a child, I don't think it was a clock as such, from what I remember it was something like a large weight/bob on the end of a string/rope/cable that was suspended from the inside of the roof of a building to just off the floor on which was I think a compass dial. If you went back to see it at various times of the day, it would be swinging in a different direction. Anyone remember it or refresh my memory?
     
  22. shutterbug

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    Yeah, they have one at the Science and Industry building in Chicago. It's just a swinging pendulum, and as the earth rotates, it doesn't. So it seems like it's changing direction, but really you are :)
     
  23. Smudgy

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  24. Dave B

    Dave B Registered User

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    There is a Foucault pendulum in the Franklin Institute, in Philadelphia, and another in the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. I first saw the one at the Franklin Institute when my Dad was going to Drexel, and took me to the institute as a child. I was three, but I remember my father explaining to me that the earth was moving out from under the pendulum; that it was not changing it's direction of swing. I remember asking him how they knew that, because if the earth was moving, where did they stand to look at it and tell that it was not changing direction? I also wanted to know who had the job of standing the little pieces back up after they were all knocked over. Now that I reflect on it, I think I must have been a weird kid. :D
     
  25. John Hubby

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    Re: 10,000 year clock

    A really great Foucault pendulum is in the [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oYvffE6iGY"]Convention Center in Portland, OR[/ame] where the NAWCC 1998 National Convention was held. That was the first one I had seen, and it was fascinating. It is the heaviest one yet constructed, and is situated so it hangs overhead and has a ring with balls and pointers that are moved one each hour.

    The 10,000 year clock is a torsion pendulum design being constructed by the Long Now Foundation. Their executive director Alexander Rose gave the James Arthur lecture at the NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium held in St. Louis, MO in 2003, the theme of that symposium was "Torsion Pendulum Clocks and Their Place in Horology". Their project being the largest and longest duration torsion pendulum clock ever conceived was an appropriate subject for the lecture.
     
  26. GregS

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    The Long Now

    Not sure if this has ever been posted before so forgive me if it has. Here is a link to a very unusual clock. After reading the most of the pages, it sort of makes you think.....


    The Long Now

    Cheers, everyone!
    Greg
     
  27. Jay Fortner

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    Yeah, Harold dug that thing up here a while back, SUPER COOL!:thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  28. R&A

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    Who would ever think huh...
     
  29. GregS

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    Re: The Long Now

    When it is finished, I think it would be really fun to go and see it. Maybe get a chance to help wind it. :D

    So. What do you think the chances of that clock actually running for more than a thousand years, let alone ten? :confused:
     
  30. harold bain

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    Re: The Long Now

    About as good as our species surviving that long, I suppose. They must have picked a very geologically stable area, to limit the possibilty of earthquakes burying it.
     
  31. R&A

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    Re: The Long Now

    Would make a good movie. Found 10,000 year old clock.

    H/C
     
  32. shutterbug

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    Re: The Long Now

    Still running! :D
     
  33. R&A

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    Re: The Long Now

    A company here in AZ is helping build this clock. I have a friend that I went to HS with that works for the company here in AZ. She told me that some of the faces that you see on this web page work out of the office here in AZ.

    H/C
     
  34. John Hubby

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    Re: The Long Now

    I have been following this development since the beginning of the Long Now Foundation. In the late 1990's I worked with the present ED Alexander Rose on formulae for torsion pendulum suspension springs, and he gave the James Arthur lecture at the 2003 NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium that featured torsion pendulum clocks. Yes, it uses a torsion pendulum like a gigantic anniversary clock. Depending on the prototype design the pendulum period has ranged from 10 beats per hour to four beats per hour. Discussions regarding the design for the actual clock have included beat rates as some multiple of the earth's daily rotation and adjusted by the period of the earth's orbit around the sun. All that was to ensure sidereal time accuracy over very long periods to minimize any need for human intervention to adjust the rate.

    One feature of the clock that might drive the oil discussion threads bonkers is that it is designed to operate with no external lubrication whatever, but to rely on the lubricity of the materials from which the pivots and bearings are made, taking a hint from Harrison's use of lignum vitae. That is essential, as there is no known lubricant that could last and remain in its original state for more than a few decades at best.

    A truly fascinating project, that changes the paradigm of long duration precision timekeeping.
     
  35. R&A

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    Re: The Long Now

    I found this really interesting.
    "Lignum vitae" is Latin for "wood of life", and derives from its medicinal uses; lignum vitae resin has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions from coughs to arthritis, and chips of the wood can also be used to brew a tea. Other names for lignum vitae include palo santo (Spanish for "holy wood") and greenheart; lignum vitae is also one of the numerous hard, dense woods referred to as ironwood.

    Who would ever thing HUH. Maybe we need to look into wood bushing for clocks (Ironwood) :???:

    H/C
     
  36. Tinker Dwight

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    Re: The Long Now

    Hi
    Just about the hardest wood I know of is dried
    eucalyptus. A chain saw just bounces off the stuff.
    It is just like rock.
    It needs to be slow cured or it cracks and has a
    lot of water in it when first cut.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  37. zepernick

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    Re: The Long Now

    Ten-thousand years here, ten-thousand there, I like the casual concern expressed by Mike McCann (via the BBC News today):

    Big Ben is leaning to one side and may eventually become unstable - but only in thousands of years, according to a newly revealed report.

    The tower leans 0.26 degrees to the north-west, putting it out of alignment by about 0.5m at its highest point.

    The lean was discovered when Transport for London commissioned a report, because the extension of the Jubilee Line passes under Parliament.

    Experts are unsure what is causing the lean.

    But one theory is that the London clay on which the tower was built is drying out.

    Mike McCann, keeper of the great clock, told BBC London: "We have been monitoring it since 1999, so we've got some pretty good data.

    "Our resident expert believes it will be between 4,000 and 10,000 years before it becomes a problem.

    "So it's not significant today, but we do need to keep an eye on it."
     
  38. shutterbug

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    Re: The Long Now

    The 'iron wood' that I grew up with is from a quite unpleasant tree that is covered with thorns, even the trunk. Very hard wood, as you'd expect :)
     
  39. Burkhard Rasch

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    Re: The Long Now

    let´s see how the Strassbourgh munster clock copes with the demonstration of "Platon´s year" 25.700-25800 years ahead (the indication is provided in that clock afaik).If it works I´ll be optimistic about the clock of Long Now.Anyway I like the project!
    Burkhard
     
  40. R&A

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    Re: The Long Now

    The Munster clock was made by Isaac Habrecht; the scientific supervisors were Conradus Dasypodius and David Wolckenstein.
    It was built in 1571-1574 (the clock is dated in the print 1573), replacing an earlier monumental clock. And it's still around. But who is to say what 10,000 years will bring.

    H/C
     
  41. Bill Ward

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    Re: The Long Now

    The Strasbourg clock has been rebuilt several times; the current mechanism dates from the 1840's (though it was designed earlier). It's a real marvel, but not that ancient. Of course, it gets regular loving care.
    The Long Now model on display at the Science Museum in London had, unfortunately, stopped working within about a year of its installation; on my last visit (about 2 years ago) I was not able to find it.
    Those visiting San Francisco shouldn't miss a vist to the Long Now Foundation museum, where many models of the ingenious mechanisms are on display. The chiming train, using cascaded Geneva mechanisms as a digital counter, is really a jaw-dropper!
     
  42. bajaddict

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    The long now clock

    I wasn't quite sure where to post this, or if it had been covered before, but I read an interesting newspaper article about The Long Now 10,000 Year Clock. There is a website that can provide a better description than I am able to: http://longnow.org/clock/
     
  43. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: The long now clock

    bajaddict, thanks for posting the link to the Long Now site. Since there have been several previous threads regarding this same subject, I've consolidated all of them into a single thread in the Horological Miscellaneous Forum.

    Have a good read, it's an extremely interesting concept that I've been following since its inception. NAWCC has had some involvement as well, the Long Now Foundation Executive Director Alexander Rose gave the Jame Arthur lecture at the 2003 Ward Francillon Time Symposium that focused on torsion pendulum clocks. The Clock of the Long Now is arguably the largest and most complex torsion pendulum clock ever conceived, even the two prototypes that have already been completed each warrant that designation.
     
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