September 26th, 2005 at 06:26pm
I’m one of those strange people who like all of their clocks to be on time (and I mean exactly on time…to the second). All domestic clocks count slightly fast or slow, and the clock radio in my room is the most accurate clock in the house. In the last six months or so it has gained half a second, however today it gained another half a second. It could just be a strange coincidence, but I am putting the extra half a second down to the thunderstorm activity today, which may have made the clock count a bit faster than usual at one stage.
I suppose I should probably explain this a little bit more, my understanding of a quartz crystal clock is this:
An electric field is applied to the crystal of quartz, which then oscillates at a certain frequency. This oscillation varies depending on the current applied to the quartz, and as such, a temporary increase in current (which would occur when a lightning strike is spread through the electricity grid) would temporarily appear to speed up the time count.
I think that more or less explains the way a quartz crystal clock works and how the thunderstorm activity may have added half a second to the time.
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