Re: GMT -> UTC in Australia

From: Steve Allen <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 11:08:13 -0800

On Wed 2005-02-23T23:02:14 -0800, Steve Allen hath writ:
> [ the New South Wales bill ]
> defines UTC as being determined by the BIPM.

> So it remains unclear who ultimately controls the fate of civil time
> in New South Wales.

There is sociology behind this statement.

W. Lewandowski is Principal Physiscist at the BIPM time lab. He
often chairs sessions at the various precise time conferences, and he
did so at CGSIC last September. His introductory Powerpoint
presentation is online as presentation number 60 at

In his slides 6 and 7 he indicates that the transition to uniform time
would follow the recommendations of the Torino conference; i.e., a
uniform time scale gets a new name. It is not clear that this dare be
interpreted as a position statement by the BIPM, nor whether it
represents a stance in opposition to the draft documents that the
ITU-R has been circulating regarding its preferred re-definition of

I suppose that there are individuals on both sides of the leaps-in-UTC
issue at the BIPM, the IERS, and the ITU-R. That was the case at the
BIH where the Stoykos championed earth rotation time while Guinot
championed atomic time. The Stoykos died first, and with the demise
of the BIH they have largely been omitted from the history of time
keeping. That recalls the tag line in the posting on POSIX time:
        Time folk take their time, they do. Bet they have their time
        wars too, but they bury their dead in private.

In the end the resolution of the leap second issue for civil time may
also become a game of who dies first.

Steve Allen          UCO/Lick Observatory       Santa Cruz, CA 95064      Voice: +1 831 459 3046
PGP: 1024/E46978C5   F6 78 D1 10 62 94 8F 2E    49 89 0E FE 26 B4 14 93
Received on Thu Feb 24 2005 - 11:09:03 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Sat Sep 04 2010 - 09:44:55 PDT