By Peter Chamberlain
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Extra resources for Mortars and rockets
As the millennia have passed, all sorts of sundials, of many degrees of sophistication, have been introduced. The tables of these sundials may be horizontal, vertical, inclined, and even spherical or cylindrical. They are therefore known as horizontal sundials, vertical sundials, etc. The style may also point in various directions: it may be vertical, horizontal, inclined . . , or may even be replaced by a hole through which a beam of light passes. The ﬁrst sundials Since the time of the ancient Greeks, techniques of sundial construction have been evolving, principally in the various forms of sundials constructed: for example, there have been conical sundials, spherical sundials, etc.
On a perfectly level surface, we set up a gnomon (a rod) 50 cm long, and check that it is indeed vertical with the aid of a plumb line. Around the gnomon we draw ﬁve circles on the ground, of radii 25 cm, 50 cm, 100 cm, 150 cm, and 200 cm. During the day, the tip of the shadow of the gnomon will pass though each circle at two points. We carefully mark each of these points on each circle, taking into account penumbral effects. At the end of the day, we join the corresponding points on each circle with string.
To make the equation of time disappear completely, the axis of the Earth would have to become perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. Applications of the equation of time In France, since the 19th century, clocks have been regulated according to mean time; as we have seen, the difference between the true time of our sundials and the 22 A little astronomy [Ch. 17 The variation of the equation of time in one year. mean time of our clocks, an abstraction arising from corrections due to longitude and legalities, constitutes what we call the equation of time.
Mortars and rockets by Peter Chamberlain