University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Dynamics and Vibration Tea Time Talks > "Live" from the Trinity College Clock

"Live" from the Trinity College Clock

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On-line tea from 3.30pm with talk starting at 4.00pm

Hugh Hunt is the Keeper of the Clock at Trinity College. It is a remarkable mechanical instrument, 110 years old and still capable of keeping time to within one second per month – that’s an accuracy better than 1 ppm. So what is the secret of it’s accuracy? The story will be told direct from the clock tower taking advantage of Zoom – one of the “lockdown” tools of the trade. We will discuss the basics of timekeeping – the pendulum with temperature and barometric compensation – and the extraordinary “double three-legged gravity escapement”. We’ll also look at how the clock is wound and regulated. And then there’s all the instrumentation that now peppers the clock. Six raspberry pi computers measure just about everything you might want to measure using lasers, spirit levels, microphones … it’s really good fun. And of course we’ll reveal the secret of exactly when it is best to run “The Great Court Run” – that’s all been measured with great accuracy too!

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Dynamics and Vibration Tea Time Talks series.

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