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Metric time

Several proposals for metric time systems not based on the second but instead on decimal fractions of an Earth day have been advanced. Many of these include a unit of 10-3 day, which is 1.44 minutes.

The most popular unit system was instituted in France during the Revolution as part of the French Revolutionary Calendar:

  • 10 metric hours in a day (2 h 24 min each)
  • 100 metric minutes in a metric hour (1 min 26.4 sec each)
  • 100 metric seconds in a metric minute (0.864 sec each)
  • 10 days in a metric week (called a dekade)

One example is Swatch's Internet time, which divides the day into 1000 equal ".beats". Zero .beats, written @0, is equivalent to midnight in Switzerland, Swatch's home country, or 1:00 UTC.

No country has officially adopted metric time. Given the complexity involved in a changeover from the two universal systems currently used in education and higher technologies, and the practical incompatibility between any two systems, a new adoption would require yet a third universal use: There is no evidence that its adoption is ever likely to occur, beyond dual mode clock novelties.

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