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    Understanding the foundations of measurement: Why a clock that ticks randomly is the best clock

    Maguire, Phil and Moser, Philippe and Maguire, Rebecca (2016) Understanding the foundations of measurement: Why a clock that ticks randomly is the best clock. Physics Essays, 29 (4). pp. 574-581. ISSN 0836-1398

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    In this article, we examine how a competition to find the world’s most accurate clock might be run. How could the winning clock be identified if it outperforms every existing standard for timing? The intuitive view on time-keeping is that a good clock is one that keeps time consistently and hence agrees with other clocks. This view, we argue, is mistaken. Measurement is fundamentally about making high-quality predictions. Accordingly, the goal is not consistency, but independence between the clock and its environment. We propose that, counter-intuitively, the best clock is the one that ticks most unpredictably, making its predictions the most difficult to beat. The organizers of the clock competition should award the prize to the clock that ticks most randomly.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Metrology; Stability; Measurement Standards; Randomness; Prediction; Time;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 10616
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Phil Maguire
    Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 16:33
    Journal or Publication Title: Physics Essays
    Publisher: Physics Essays Publication
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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