Final month, we defined how mechanical clocks work. Whereas mechanical clock know-how got here practically a thousand years earlier than quartz clock know-how, each have a spot in fashionable timekeeping.
Like mechanical clocks, quartz clocks have gears inside them to push the arms across the clock face, measuring seconds, minutes, and hours with precision. Nonetheless, these gears are regulated by a tiny quartz crystal fairly than a steadiness wheel or swinging pendulum.
Quartz is among the commonest minerals on Earth. It’s created from silicon dioxide, a chemical compound present in sand and plenty of sorts of rock. Quartz is what we name piezoelectric, which means when compressed, it generates a small however measurable electrical present. On the contrary, when electrical energy passes by means of quartz, it vibrates at a exact frequency — a precise variety of occasions per second.
So how do quartz clocks work? Every quartz clock or watch comprises a small piece of quartz, normally formed like a musician’s tuning fork. The battery inside a quartz clock or watch sends electrical energy to the quartz crystal by way of an digital circuit, inflicting the fork’s prongs to vibrate 32,768 occasions per second.
The circuit measures the variety of vibrations, and generates one digital pulse per each 32,768 vibrations — or, one per second. These pulses energy the gear wheels ahead, in flip shifting the clock’s second hand (and minute and hour arms) clockwise across the clock face. Quartz actions are each correct and sturdy, making them interesting to these on the lookout for a top quality timepiece that gained’t break the financial institution.
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