Fascinating physics of mechanical clocks




Politechnika Bydgoska im. Jana i Jędrzeja Śniadeckich

April 20, 2022 12:30 PM

For many centuries, a mechanical pendulum clock was the primary way of measuring time. The precision of clocks has been steadily improving, but seemingly reached its limits around XIX century. Nowadays, in the era of atomic clocks, is there a reason to study mechanical ones? How the so-called grasshopper escapement, developed by John Harrison in 1622, allowed for accuracy on the level of 1 second per 100 days, and yet it was mostly forgotten? What is the connection between the measurement of time and entropy - apparently the only physical quantity connected to irreversible processes, and thus indicating the direction of the flow of time? The answer to this (and many more) questions will be presented in a lecture encompassing classical mechanics, thermodynamics, chaos theory and... Lego bricks.