Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

A brief history of timekeeping reveals the need for leap day, leap seconds, and the neverending challenge of synchronizing clocks around the world

Robert Roy Britt
Aha!
Published in
10 min readFeb 26, 2024

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You might expect Andrew Novick to be the punctual sort. After all, he’s an electrical engineer who back in 1999 created the time.gov web clock that reveals the official exact time across all US time zones. But Novick is seldom on time, and like many of us, he wishes there were more of it. “There’s definitely not enough…

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Robert Roy Britt
Aha!
Editor for

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB