John C Taylor

The Chronophage


Corpus Chronophage


When I was helping design a clock for the Corpus Christi College undergraduate library, I didn’t want to create anything that had ever been done before.

The design is a homage to John Harrison who used a grasshopper escapement in the development of his sea clocks.  I took the idea of a grasshopper escapement that had been designed by the iconic horologist John Harrison and made it much bigger.

The Corpus Chronophage clock was unveiled in 2008 by the world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking and it’s been a huge source of fascination ever since.

Protected by six patents and using a unique mechanism, it is a fully functioning mechanical clock that shows the time without using hands.

The Corpus Chronophage is usually surrounded by a crowd of admirers – several million people a year come to see it and it is now the prime visitor attraction in Cambridge.

Adults appreciate the level of artistry, workmanship and humour that have gone into the clock’s creation. The ripples on the clock face, which depict time expanding from the centre of the universe after the Big Bang, urge them to contextualise their own existence.

The Tour passes the Corpus Chronophage

The Tour passes the Corpus Chronophage

The clock is equally popular with children who are fascinated by the unpredictable behaviour of the creature on top of the clock. The creature will snap its mouth, blink and move its tail, eating every 59th second at the end of the minute, so that you can never get it back.

The fact that the clock is admired and appreciated by so many people is a huge source of personal satisfaction.

 

Interesting Facts

Diamonds are actually unstable at surface temperature and pressure. Every diamond above ground is very, very slowly altering into graphite, another form of pure carbon.

Latest News

One of World’s Greatest Living Inventors Celebrated with Six Postage Stamps

One of the world’s greatest living inventors is to be celebrated with a set of six postage stamps issued by the Isle of Man Post Office (https://www.iompost.com/stamps-coins/collection/invention-and-innovation-dr-john-c-taylor-obe/), focusing on different areas of his life’s work. Dr John C Taylor OBE (http://www.johnctaylor.com/), 80, who was born in Buxton, Derbyshire and has lived in the Isle of Man for the greater part of his life, spent his career creating safety-critical electrical components and switches that are vital to many pieces of technology we use today, most notably the kettle controls that switch our kettles off when they have boiled, and the 360°… read more

Interesting Quotes

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

Helen Keller