[ntp:questions] A Suggestion For Abolishing the Leap Second

Brian Garrett mgy1912 at cox.net
Sun Jun 3 08:44:07 UTC 2007

"Quadibloc" <jsavard at ecn.ab.ca> wrote in message 
news:1180841658.406722.37980 at o11g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
> Jason Rabel wrote:
>> Seriously considered? The more I read it, the more I think it is just a 
>> bad
>> joke taken too far. Instead of being happy with just adding a leap second
>> every now and then, you want to screw with and break every time scale
>> possible and every piece of electronic equipment on earth.
> I am happy with a leap second every now and then.
> But some people aren't happy with that, and so they want to just
> abolish the leap second, without changing anything else. So, perhaps
> as soon as the year 2,700, we would need to have a *leap hour*.
> I don't think that's a good idea, even if it takes time for the
> consequences to become apparent.
> So I want to have a fallback proposal ready, one that gives these
> people what they want - no leap seconds, so that keeping computer
> networks synchronized won't be problematic - but without losing the
> relationship between the time on our clocks and the time of day.
> But I don't want to upset frequency standards, and so I tried very
> hard to design my proposal so that it would use a time scale that
> would still have a close relationship to atomic time. There may well
> be better ways to do this than the one I first proposed, as I have
> started learning more about the difficulties of this. So I have gone
> on to suggest other alternatives as well, such as adding a 'leap
> millisecond' to one second every eight hours so that the SI second can
> be kept most of the time.
> John Savard

http://iraf.noao.edu/~seaman/leap/ contains one of the better discussions of 
this issue I've seen.

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/time/utc-sls/ outlines a similar proposal to 
Mr. Savard's.

Brian Garrett

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