Do you know every method we've devised to measure the passage of time? Take the time measurement quiz!
From atoms to water, we have devised some unique ways to measure the passage of time. Take a few minutes and test your knowledge with this quiz.start quiz
Question 1 of 20
A clock must have:
... The first mechanisms that meet the definition -- constant action, time increments and display -- were probably invented 5,000 to 6,000 years ago in North Africa or the Middle East.
Question 2 of 20
The first objects that used the sun to measure time were:
... These tall stone monuments called obelisks, first erected in Egypt around 3,500 B.C., told time by measuring shadows cast on the ground.
Question 3 of 20
Who said 'The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion?'
... Einstein's theory of relativity said that time is not absolute.
Question 4 of 20
Why are pendulums often used in clocks?
... The regular motion of a pendulum ensures that the gears turn at a steady pace.
Question 5 of 20
In a mechanical clock, the ______ unwinds and sends energy to the gears.
... The mainspring's energy causes the gears to turn, which moves the hands.
Question 6 of 20
Where were incense clocks invented?
... Incense clocks were developed in China between 960 and 1279 and their use spread throughout the Far East.
Question 7 of 20
What mineral is used to provide energy for the operation of some clocks?
... When quartz is squeezed, it generates electricity. Quartz clocks contain a battery to vibrate the crystal and a circuit to create regular pulses of electricity to power the clock.
Question 8 of 20
What do we call the period it takes for the Earth to make one rotation around the sun?
... A year takes around 365 and one-fourth days.
Question 9 of 20
All quartz crystals vibrate ______ times per second.
... Their consistent 32,768 vibrations per second makes them ideal as a source of clock power.
Question 10 of 20
Until World War I, the wearing of wristwatches was confined almost exclusively to:
... Up until the war, it was fashionable for women to wear wristwatches and men to carry only pocket watches, but their use was impractical in battle.
Question 11 of 20
What is the most accurate clock in the world?
... The NIST atomic clock will neither gain nor lose a second in 3.4 billion years.
Question 12 of 20
This element is used in atomic clocks.
... Cesium is the most electropositive and alkaline of the elements and is used in atomic clocks.
Question 13 of 20
In 1670, clockmaker William Clement began using a pendulum a yard long, effectively inventing the ______ clock.
... The long pendulum took a full second to move back and forth, making for an accurate grandfather clock.
Question 14 of 20
Who discovered the pendulum was a way to mark intervals of time?
... As a teenager, Galileo observed the swaying of chandeliers in a cathedral.
Question 15 of 20
Who were the first people to divide the day into 24 hours?
... The total was 24, but the Babylonians actually divided it into a day and a night of 12 hours each.
Question 16 of 20
What whimsical timepiece was invented in Germany's Black Forest?
... The first cuckoo clock was made in Schoenwald, Germany, in 1737.
Question 17 of 20
What does the Congreve clock use instead of a pendulum?
... Invented by William Congreve in 1808, the Congreve clock with its rolling ball is unreliable.
Question 18 of 20
What is the science of timekeeping called?
... Horology is from the Greek for 'time' and 'study.'
Question 19 of 20
What did the Smithsonian Institution call 'the last significant contribution in clock making?'
... The Geochron, assembled by hand, shows the year, month and day of the week, as well as the parts of the world experiencing day and night and the meridian passage of the sun.
Question 20 of 20
How many degrees of longitude do each of the world's time zones cover?
... Dividing 360 degrees by the number of hours in a day (24), gives an answer of 15 degrees.
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