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Timing principle of hourglass
- Dec 12, 2018 -

The hourglass, also known as the sand clock, is a device for measuring time. The western hourglass consists of two glass balls and a narrow connecting pipe. The time is measured by the time it takes for the glass ball filled with sand to flow from the top through the narrow pipe into the bottom glass ball. Once all the sand has flowed to the bottom glass ball, the hourglass can be reversed to measure the time, and the general hourglass has a nominal run time of 1 minute.


Factors affecting the hourglass include: the amount of filler, the curved shape of the inner wall of the glass sphere (the difference between the hourglass and the inverted hour length), the width of the neck tube, the type and quality of the filler. The earliest hourglass used to use tomb marble powder, iron filings and eggshell powder. Modern hourglasses generally use artificially made glass beads. The error of the hourglass in 30 minutes can be controlled within 1 minute, and the error of hourglass in 1 hour is about 5 minutes. Note: It is not a timing instrument that can be compared to the accuracy of modern timing instruments.


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