September 24, 2008
The Corpus Clock & Chronophage
Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking is going to unveil a remarkable clock that has no hands and shows time with the help of light. Known as the Corpus Clock, the machine has been invented by and designed by Dr John Taylor for Corpus Christi College Cambridge for the exterior of the college's new library building. The Clock will be unveiled on 19th September by Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and author of the global bestseller, A Brief History of Time.
Dr Taylor, an inventor and horologist, has put 500,000 pounds of his own money and seven years into developing the clock, which has been inspired from a design by a clock made by the legendary John Harrison, the pioneer of longitude. Of John Harrison's many innovations, he came up with the 'grasshopper escapement, explained Dr Taylor, referring to the device used by Harrison to turn rotational motion into a pendulum motion for timekeeping.
No one knows how a grasshopper escapement works, so I decided to turn the clock inside out and, instead of making the escapement 35 mm across, it is 1.5 m across, he said. He calls the new version of the escapement a Chronophage (time-eater) a fearsome beast which drives the clock, literally eating away time