My latest story is about the mind-bending science of timekeeping and the protracted debate over the innocuous-sounding-but-potentially-devastating practice known as the leap second.

To report the story, I traveled to the birthplace of atomic time, the National Physical Laboratory outside London. 

The notebook used by physicist Louis Essen while developing the first cesium (basically, atomic) clock.

The notebook used by physicist Louis Essen while developing the first cesium (basically, atomic) clock.

The Director of Time (for the U.S. Naval Observatory, Dennis McCarthy)

The Director of Time (for the U.S. Naval Observatory, Dennis McCarthy)

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AuthorDavid Wolman