My Own Right Time: An Exploration of Clockwork Design

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9780198565222: My Own Right Time: An Exploration of Clockwork Design
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In their most refined form, pendulum clocks keep astonishingly accurate time and are sensitive to the ebb and flow of the tide and even the quivering of the Earth itself. Great inventors such as Galileo, Huygens, and Kelvin devised mechanisms to maintain their even oscillations. Lesser known horologists such as John Harrison, Lord Grimthorpe, and William Shortt, also contributed greatly to the science of time-keeping. By reflecting on his own inventions and achievements, author Philip Woodward gives a highly readable and fascinating history of precision horology before the advent of atomic clocks and the quartz chip that will educate and entertain amateur horologists and scientists and engineers alike.

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The pendulum is a constant source of interest to scientists. Great and well-known inventors such as Galileo, Huygens, and Kelvin all devised mechanisms to maintain its even oscillations. Others such as John Harrison, Lord Grimthorpe, and William Shortt are known only in horological circles but contributed as much or more over three centuries. By writing a personal account of his own inventions and achievements in horology the author involves the reader in the history of precision time-keeping before the advent of quartz crystals and atomic clocks. Escapements, the mechanisms that drive pendulums, are a delight to the geometrical mind as well as a delicate and subtle challenge to the mechanical engineer. In their most refined form pendulum clocks not only keep astonishingly accurate time but are also sensitive enough to detect the ebb and flow of tides and even the ceaseless quivering of the Earth itself.

About the Author:


An amateur horologist and retired Applied Mathematician, for many years Philip Woodward led the mathematical research team at the Royal Radar Establishment in Malvern.

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