What makes 10,000-year clock tick?

May 24, 2018

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The Long Now Foundation (longnow.org) has begun installing a mechanical clock in a West Texas mountain that will keep time for 10,000 years.

The mechanism is made primarily from Type 316 (UNS S31600) stainless steel, titanium and dry running ceramic ball bearings.

The clock will tick just once a year, with a century hand marking every 100 years, and a cuckoo making an appearance every millennium. With a specially designed gear system that has precision equal to one day in 20,000 years, it self-corrects by “phase-locking” to the noon sun.

Conceived by US engineer and entrepreneur Danny Hillis, the clock aims to shift humanity’s thinking away from the immediate, inspiring people to take a more long-term view of the world.


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