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Factors Affect the Accuracy of an Hourglass Apr 20, 2022
Hourglass, a device for measuring time. In its usual form it consists of two cone-shaped or oval glass receptacles joined by a narrow neck. Sand or a liquid (such as water or mercury) in the uppermost section of a true hourglass will run through the neck into the lower section in exactly one hour.

Here are factors that affect the accuracy of an hourglass:
  • The amount or volume of sand used
  • The size and angle of the glass bulbs
  • The quality of the sand or granular material. It must be fine, dry and consistently formed so it can flow smoothly. (Some substances used in the past were fine grain sand, powdered eggshells, and powdered marble.)
  • The width of the neck
  • A tight seal so no moisture can get into the chambers. Moisture can add weight to the sand or clog up the neck.
  • A flat and level surface on which to rest the hourglass

By turning the other end up, another hour may be marked, and the process may be continued indefinitely. When sand is used, the device is sometimes called a sandglass.

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