TAI : Java Glossary


TAI, TAI (Temps Atomique International/International Atomic Time) (French for IAT (International Atomic Time), measures scientific time, without any concern for time zones, daylight saving or leap seconds. TAI time is defined in termed of the frequency of light from an excited cesium atom. Strangely, perhaps because TAI was invented back in 1955 before the age of computers, TAI times are identified by Gregorian year, month, day, hour, minute and second. TAI gradually gets more and more out of sync with civil time. Java computations work by TAI times rules, but since computers pay attention to leap seconds when they resync from atomic clocks, Java times stay in sync with civil time. TAI is currently ahead of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time/Temps Universel Coordonné) by 33 seconds.

Other schemes of scientific time are GPS (Global Positioning System) and Loran both used in navigation and Julian day number used in astronomy.

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