Clocks Information

A clock is an instrument used to indicate, measure, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". For horologists and other specialists the term clock continues to mean exclusively a device with a striking mechanism for announcing intervals of time acoustically, by ringing a bell, a set of chimes, or a gong. A silent instrument lacking such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece. In general usage today a "clock" refers to any device for measuring and displaying the time. Watches and other timepieces that can be carried on one's person are often distinguished from clocks.

The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to consistently measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day; the lunar month; and the year. Devices operating on several different physical processes have been used over the millennia, culminating in the clocks of today.

The sundial, which measures the time of day by using the sun, was widely used in ancient times. A well-constructed sundial can measure local solar time with reasonable accuracy, and sundials continued to be used to monitor the performance of clocks until the modern era. However, its practical limitations - it requires the sun to shine and does not work at all during the night - encouraged the use of other techniques for measuring time.

Wikipedia, Clocks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clocks (as of Apr 10, 2010)

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