A great wonder was done by one of India’s oldest laboratories.The National Physical Laboratory under the Council for Scientific Research and Industrial Research has done a miracle. Yes, to synchronize with Earth’s rotational clock, an extra second to be added to the Indian time at 5:29:59 hours.
As the Atomic clock at National Physical Laboratory (NPL) here struck at 23:59:59 last night, it was programmed to add an extra second to 2017 to pay off for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation. However, extra second added to Indian time won’t show any effect in fields like satellite navigation, astronomy, and communication, but it may show a small impact on daily life.
Speaking to the media, NPL director DK Aswal said, “The rotation of the earth around its own axis is not regular which sometimes means it speeds up, and sometimes it slows down due to several factors like earthquakes, moon’s gravitational force, and many things. As a result, solar time (UT1) slowly falls out of sync with atomic time (UTC) and as and when the difference between UTC and UT1 approaches 0.9 seconds, a leap second is added to UTC through atomic clocks worldwide.”
Adding the extra second to the Indian time is done by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (SCIR). NPL is one of the oldest laboratories in India, and it has five atomic clocks, and nearly 300 such pieces exist across the globe.
Atomic Clocks are so accurate that the margin of error in its functioning is just of a second in 100 million years.
However, to synchronize with Earth’s rotation and Indian Standard Time (IST), an extra second has to be added, and the Indian Clock was adjusted. NPL director Aswal said the Indian atomic clock was also synchronized with the atomic clock of the International Bureau of Weight and Measure (BIPM), France.
“The leap second adjustment is not so appropriate for normal life. However, this change is critical for applications requiring of time accuracies in the nanosecond which are essential in the fields of astronomy, satellite navigation and communication networks.”
“Since 1972, in the span of six months to seven years, 36 leap seconds have been added, and this will be the 37th year,” Aswal added.