Monday, 27 April 2009

Candles as clocks

Tushar did these two great pieces of research. It sounds like they could be true. What do you think?
If we could find another source which backs up the information, it would be even more credible (believable). Maybe you could research using a recent encyclopedia when we are in the library this week.
Well done!
Mr.Ben here is a lot of candle clock information A candle clock was one of the first methods of measuring the passage of time. From ancient Asia to the Dark Ages of Britain, people found ways to use candles to tell time. Though no one knows who invented the first candle clock, there is no doubt that they have been in use for centuries. Types of Candle Clocks Most candle clocks consisted of a 12-inch tall thin candle with markings that represented blocks of time. Common markings used were simple lines or numbers placed on both sides of the candle. As the candle burned past each marking, a person could have a sense of how much time was passing. Candle clocks were also used as timers. A person would stick a nail into the candle at the marking that represented the desired amount of time. Eventually the wax would melt and release the nail. The sound of the nail falling onto the candle plate alerted the person to the passage of time. Some candle clocks incorporated multiple candles and special holders. In multiple candle systems, candles of graduating sizes and markings indicated a specific period of time. As each candle burned, a person could measure time. Sometimes the candle holder or plate had panels with markings that assisted time keeping. Ancient China used candles and sticks of incense to measure time. Crude versions used sticks of different scents to measure time. Time passage was noted by a change in fragrance. Later versions of incense clocks combined sticks of incense with weights held by thread. When the stick of incense burned a thread, a weight was released and dropped on a plate. The sound of the weight on the plate indicated a passage of time. Read more: "Candle Clocks: An Early Method of Telling Time" - I hope it is true,
Dear Mr.Ben,

I have more evidence that the sun spins:
Yes, the sun does spin, or rotate. Because it is a gas, it does not rotate like a solid. The sun actually spins faster at its equator than at its poles. The sun rotates once every 27 days at its equator, but only once every 31 days at its poles. We know this by watching the motion of sunspots and other solar features across the sun. The giant gas planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, also spin faster at their equators than at their poles.


With special telescopes, scientists looking at our Sun notice that its features appear to move from one side to the other.

This is because our Sun actually spins. (Just like our planet Earth, only much more slowly.) It takes about 27 days for the Sun to make one complete rotation.

On This link also has an animation of the sun spinning

from Tushar
Tushar, excellent research. Well done for including the source (the place you found the information). It would be even more reliable if we could find the same information from another source.
Well done,
Mr Ben

1 comment:

  1. Candle clock

    (first recorded mention late 9th century AD; probably much older)

    Among the earliest human inventions, candles provided another way to tell time indoors, at night, or on a cloudy day. Like water clocks, candle clocks couldn't be used to find the time, but the sides of candles could be marked to indicate the passage of predetermined periods of time.

    King Alfred the Great of England has been credited with inventing graduated candles in the late 9th century to divide his day into equal periods of study and prayer, royal duties, and rest. Before candle clocks made an appearance in Europe, however, it is likely that they were in use in the East, as were sundials and water clocks.

    During the Sung dynasty in China (960-1279), calibrated candles and sticks of incense measured time. In one 18th- or 19th-century incense clock, six threads with weights on either end were draped over an incense stick at regular intervals. As the incense burned, the threads burned one by one and the weights dropped to a sounding plate below. Sticks of incense with different scents might be used at different times, so that the hours were marked by a change in fragrance.

    A candle clock could be transformed into a timer by sticking a heavy nail into the candle at the mark indicating the desired interval. When the wax surrounding the nail melted, the nail clattered onto a plate below.

    found on:



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