Volume VII, Number 4 | fall 2014
At the thirteenth General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1967, one second was redefined as “the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom.” In April of this year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, unveiled a new atomic clock to act as the United States’ primary time standard; it will not gain or lose a second in 300 million years.
Years are nothing to me—they should be nothing to you. Who asked you to count them or to consider them? In the world of wild nature, time is measured by seasons only—the bird does not know how old it is—the rose tree does not count its birthdays!- Marie Corelli, 1911
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“In all revolutions there comes a moment when the high ideals of the revolutionaries crash onto the hard rocks of reality,” writes Orlando Figes in his essay for LQ's Revolutions issue. “That moment came for Russia in March 1921,” he says. More