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The Corpus Clock and Chronophage

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Hello, I'm John Taylor and this is the Corpus Clock It's just struck three. We're in the workshop just outside Cambridge where it's being built. I'd like to show you something about it. So, where are the hands? I wanted to create a new and a different way of showing time. This is not a computer generation but a true mechanical clock The face of the clock depicts time as a wave coming out from the centre of the universe. Every second runs round the dial, a pulse of light showing time racing away. To me, time passes slowly or more quickly depending on the circumstances. Time is relative. And as Einstein said, "An hour sitting with a pretty girl passes like a minute; but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour!" I wanted my clock to catch the observer's attention and to make them think. Its heritage stretches back nearly 300 years to John Harrison and his invention of the grasshopper escapement. For the Corpus Clock, I've enhanced the image of the grasshopper into a chronophage, who munches a minute every 60 seconds. This escape wheel is 50 times larger than Harrison's original but it works in the same way. It is controlled mechanically by the pallets which are the legs of the chronophage. The time is displayed by a series of vernier slits and lenses. Hours, minutes, and seconds. The time is 11 o'clock precisely. The vernier slits allow the passage of light from a bank of LEDs that are always illuminated. And incidentally, the whole bank only uses 60 watts. On the inside of the escape wheel, is the disk of slits for the seconds. The escape wheel is driven by the clock spring through these gears. This carries forward the drive for the minutes disk and then the hours disk. I would be delighted if you would accept my invitation to come to the inauguration of the Corpus Clock and celebrate the release of the chronophage and relative time onto the unsuspecting citizens of Cambridge.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 157
Posted by: timsk on Feb 3, 2009

Presentation by Dr John C Taylor, designer of the Corpus Clock and Chronophage, about his invention

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