Leapmilliseconds are not a solution

From: Markus Kuhn <Markus.Kuhn_at_CL.CAM.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2003 15:33:05 +0100

Ed Davies wrote on 2003-07-03 14:13 UTC:
> My humble opinion is that in 1972 leap milliseconds should have
> been introduced (i.e., set the UTC day length to an integer number
> of milliseconds, e.g, 86 400.002 seconds, announced well in
> advance like the current leap seconds) instead of leap seconds.

As I explained here before, this is not feasible. It messes up any form
of standard frequency transmission that is not a multiple of 1000 Hz,
because for the edge of a standard pulse-per-second (PPS) signal, the
phase of the standard frequency with which it coincides will not be a
(location-dependent) constant any more, which would be a significant and
completely unnecessary practical complication. European 50.0000000000-Hz
television broadcasts and the German DCF77 (77.5000000000 kHz) standard
frequency transmitters are just two quick examples that come to mind.

Such considerations where the reason for the introduction of the leap
second in the first place.


Markus Kuhn, Computer Lab, Univ of Cambridge, GB
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ | __oo_O..O_oo__
Received on Thu Jul 03 2003 - 07:33:15 PDT

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