View Full Version : Leap seconds and atomic clocks

2013-Dec-26, 02:58 PM
Based on geological records (http://www.eos.ubc.ca/~mjelline/453website/eosc453/E_prints/1999RG900016.pdf) and records of eclipses for the period 700 BC to 1623 AD from F. R. Stephenson and L. V. Morrison (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second), there is an increase of mean solar day by about 1.2-1.7 miliseconds per century.

According to atomic clock there is about 0.6 leap seconds per year. Hence we get 0.6/365*100 yr = 164 miliseconds increase of mean solar day per century. This is about 100 times higher than the value obtained from eclipses and geological records.

Is there an explanation for this gap? Would that be possible that solar flares affect atomic clocks?

2013-Dec-26, 03:05 PM

The ATM (Against The Mainstream) forum is not for asking questions - it for people to present their finished, non-mainstream ideas. Since you are just asking a question, I've moved your thread to the Q&A section. You are also welcome to post any follow-up questions you might have, but please make sure you do not advocate non-mainstream ideas in Q&A (that is what ATM is for).

2013-Dec-26, 04:58 PM
When the atomic clocks went into operation in the mid-20th century, the Earth's rotation period was slightly slower than what for better or worse had been adopted as the standard mean solar day. At the time one or two leap seconds each year allowed the Earth to catch up with the atomic clocks. If the only change was the gradual slowdown from tidal drag at the aforementioned rate, the need for leap seconds would gradually become more frequent. What actually has happened in recent decades is a slight speedup of Earth's rotation for reasons that are somewhat a mystery. The Earth is still slightly slow but not as badly as 50 years ago, and leap seconds have become less frequent. This short term fluctuation masks the long term slowdown tendency, which requires observation over a very long period to be detected at all.

2013-Dec-26, 05:37 PM
The resolution of this question is the same as understanding the distinction between the National Deficit and the National Debt. They are integral and derivative of each other. Even if the deficit were to become zero, the debt would remain large. For a glimpse at the two related curves for earth rotation see http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/leapsecs/amsci.html