Metric time

“Metric time is the measure of time interval using the metric system, which defines the second as the base unit of time, and multiple and submultiple units formed with metric prefixes, such as kiloseconds and milliseconds.”wikipedia

Since I discovered that ‘metric time’ exists I’ve been trying to determine if we should be using it. Is the the current system of time as outdated as the imperial measurements of miles, yards, ounces & pounds? Perhaps our units of measurement are so ingrained in our lives that we refuse to even consider an alternative?

It makes sense. Why is the day divided into 86,400 seconds when it could be 100,000? This would change the length of a second to 0.864 seconds. We could then use logical names for units of time such as decasecond, centisecond, gigasecond, but instead we’re using minutes & hours.

Think about what it would do to our clocks…

French decimal clock

Decimal time

“Decimal time is the representation of the time of day using units which are decimally related. This term is often used to refer specifically to French Revolutionary Time, which divides the day into 10 decimal hours, each decimal hour into 100 decimal minutes and each decimal minute into 100 decimal seconds…” Wikipedia

The French already thought of a similar solution with decimal time – dividing the day into 10 hours, each with 100 minutes, each with 100 seconds.

Not only would this make our clock faces much better, but telling the time too e.g.

“What’s the time Mr. Wolf?”


image credit: Cormullion
Sources: Wikipedia – Metric time, Wikipedia – Decimal time