The Riefler clock
When I wrote about the Elgin Observatory
a few days ago, I was in a hurry to PRODUCE
something as an equipoise to the ambient shit. A magic metrology incantation to balance out the incoming anti-science monsters. The scientific equivalent of showing a silver cross to a vampire.
I cut a few corners, including the Riefler clock. I used an existing railroad clock from the Box Depots set.
Now I've got the Riefler in its proper place.
The Riefler was de rigueur in timekeeping observatories, and it was PURE METROLOGY. It wasn't meant for use as a clock, so the hands were hard to see and not precisely calibrated. If you wanted to know the current time, you could use your watch or a wall clock.
Every aspect of the Riefler was shaped and optimized as a FREQUENCY standard. It was all about the pendulum, which was mercury-filled and held in a partial vacuum. Polistra is pointing to the mini-transit, provided so you could mark the comings and goings of the pendulum in the same way you marked the movements of the stars.
According to various descriptions, the Riefler was sort of semi-electric, with a battery-powered winder that cinched up the mainspring "roughly every 35 seconds". This seems like an absurd violation of the absolute frequency standard, but apparently it worked somehow.
And here's the star animation again with the Riefler. It ticks the same as the railroad clock, but it's prettier.
You can see the pendulum through the mini-transit.
Around 1920 Rieflers were replaced by the faster resonance of quartz crystals, again held in precise temperature and pressure conditions. Then in 1970 the crystals were replaced by even faster resonances of single atoms
in precisely defined conditions.
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Pulling the lesson back to center: Elgin didn't need to take all this trouble.
Elgin didn't need to build its own custom-designed observatory and equip it with expensive custom-made transits and Rieflers and Personal Equation Machines, didn't need to hire its own astronomers.
In 1910 the National Bureau of Standards was sending out standard time ticks via Western Union.
Elgin could have simply rented a telegraph connection.
But they didn't. Elgin wanted to be its own beacon
in the most literal way, using a distant star for the lighthouse.
The motion of the earth can't be corrupted by government, can't be hacked by competitors or distorted by media. And Elgin used its independent metrology in its advertising:
Would any company make the same appeal today? No. NYC shareholders would short it to zero. Modern corporations compete to be the most dependent
on central standards, the most compliant to all regulations and lawsuits and Github updates, the most reliant on bank debt instead of stored capital, the most dependent on Big Data automation instead of human skill. Anti-metrology, anti-human, anti-Natural Law, anti-God.
Needless to say, Elgin went out of business in 1970.
The tradename is blasphemously used by a company that makes shit in China.
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Links for the Ancestral Clocks set so far:
The magnificent Ridhwan
Crude water clock
The Elgin observatory
Labels: Equipoise, metametrology, Metrology