Re: [LEAPSECS] trading amplitude for scheduling

From: Tom Van Baak <>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 20:59:41 -0700

> To the extent that I understand the point you are
> aiming for, this statement conflates two issues:
> 1) that the long term secular deceleration is only
> perceptible as a baseline trend hidden beneath
> large amplitude, short period, effects, and
> 2) that leap seconds aren't the result of new slowing
> (or speeding up), they are the result of cumulative
> clock corrections required due to previous slowing.
> I agree with both, but just because we're bleeding
> ...

Careful not to confuse rate with acceleration and
propagate a common misconception that leap
seconds are due to an acceleration/deceleration
effect (as in "leap seconds are due to the earth
slowing down").

In fact, leap seconds are simply due to the earth
being slow. How it got to be "slow" and whether
it is "slowing" are another issue.

There are valid scenarios where the earth could be
speeding up and yet we would continue to have leap
seconds -- because the earth is still slow (compared
to the SI second).

Rate is not the same as acceleration; leap seconds
are directly due to a rate mismatch, and only indirectly
due to deceleration.

Received on Fri Aug 04 2006 - 08:13:41 PDT

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