Is Time Changing?

24/07/2013
At European Springs, we make precision clock springs for a variety of manufacturers which enable for the very precise and particular measurement of time to which we are accustomed. This mechanical model is most often used in wristwatches and clocks but for scientists, the nature of their experiments often necessitates a different method. Is time changing?

A harmonic oscillator is responsible for the timekeeping element of every timekeeping device. In mechanical clocks, this is a pendulum or balance wheel; small springs and cogs are used to connect this to other elements. The power source is typically either a weight suspended from a cord or a chain wrapped around a pulley, sprocket or drum; or a spiral spring called a mainspring. The mainspring is a special type of torsion spring. European Springs make some of the most technically precise torsion springs in the industry to allow for delicate structures which mark time very efficiently.

Whilst we are continually striving to make better clock springs, it is also fascinating to note how new technologies are answering the problems posed by others. Atomic clocks are used to measure seconds: caesium fountains expose clouds of caesium atoms to microwaves and their oscillations are regular enough to use to measure intervals of time.  Scientists are constantly in need of more precise ways of measuring their work. They have now come up with an improvement on the atomic clock. The new optical lattice atomic clock uses lasers in place of microwaves. The laser beams oscillate much faster which means they can measure shorter intervals of time.

This new technology is very useful to telecommunications, satellite navigation and the stock markets as these industries are always looking for better time measurements. The implication is that scientists can develop these new ways of measuring time which engineers can then use to make products reflecting these new understandings.

Whatever happens in terms of developments in horology, our clock customers can rest assured that we will continue to make the best clock springs imaginable. Whether you are looking to make a prototype for a new timepiece or need thousands of clock springs manufactured expertly, contact us at European Springs to find out how we can help.

European Springs

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