Hexadecimal time

Hexadecimal time is the representation of the time of day as a hexadecimal number in the interval [0,1).

The day is divided into 1016 (1610) hexadecimal hours, each hour into 10016 (25610) hexadecimal minutes, and each minute into 1016 (1610) hexadecimal seconds.

Hexadecimal Clock by Nystrom
Nystrom's "Tonal Watch, or Clock-dial". Note the use of his invented digits for hex values 9-F. Also note that midnight (hour 0) is at the bottom, rather than the top of the clockface.
A hexadecimal clock-face


This time format was proposed by the Swedish-American engineer John W. Nystrom in 1863 as part of his tonal system.

In 1997, the American Mark Vincent Rogers of Intuitor proposed a similar system of hexadecimal time and implemented it in JavaScript as the Hexclock.

The system of Rogers

A day is unity, or 1, and any fraction thereof can be shown with digits to the right of the hexadecimal separator. So the day begins at midnight with .0000 and one hexadecimal second after midnight is .0001. Noon is .8000 (one half), one hexadecimal second before was .7FFF and one hexadecimal second before next midnight will be .FFFF.

Intuitor-hextime may also be formatted with an underscore separating hexadecimal hours, minutes and seconds. For example:


Hex Hex (Boardman) ISO 8601 Comment
.0100 0_10_0 00:05:37.5
.0200 0_20_0 00:11:15
.0400 0_40_0 00:22:30
.0800 0_80_0 00:45:00
.1000 1_00_0 01:30:00 1.5:24 = 1:16 = 0.1
.8000 8_00_0 12:00:00 12:24 = 8:16 = 0.8
.F000 F_00_0 22:30:00 22.5:24 = 15:16 = 0.F
.F800 F_80_0 23:15:00


Hex hexsec
base 16
base 10
1 day = 10000 = 65536 = 24 h
1 hexadecimal hour = 1000 = 4096 = 1 h 30 min
1 hexadecimal maxime = 100 = 256 = 5 min 37.5 s
1 hexadecimal minute = 10 = 16 = 21.09375 s
1 hexadecimal second = 1 = 1 = 1.318359375 s
1 second = 0.C22E4 = 0.75851 = 1 s

See also

External links

Binary clock

A binary clock is a clock that displays the time of day in a binary format. Originally, such clocks showed each decimal digit of sexagesimal time as a binary value, but presently binary clocks also exist which display hours, minutes, and seconds as binary numbers. Most binary clocks are digital, although analog varieties exist. True binary clocks also exist, which indicate the time by successively halving the day, instead of using hours, minutes, or seconds. Similar clocks, based on Gray coded binary, also exist.

Decimal time

Decimal time is the representation of the time of day using units which are decimally related. This term is often used specifically to refer to the time system used in France for a few years beginning in 1792 during the French Revolution, which divided the day into 10 decimal hours, each decimal hour into 100 decimal minutes and each decimal minute into 100 decimal seconds, as opposed to the more familiar UTC time standard, which divides the day into 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds.

The main advantage of a decimal time system is that, since the base used to divide the time is the same as the one used to represent it, the whole time representation can be handled as a single string. Therefore, it becomes simpler to interpret a timestamp and to perform conversions. For instance, 1:23:00 is 1 decimal hour and 23 decimal minutes, or 1.23 hours, or 123 minutes; 3 hours is 300 minutes or 30,000 seconds.

This property also makes it straightforward to represent a timestamp as a fractional day, so that 2019-05-21.534 can be interpreted as five decimal hours and 34 decimal minutes after the start of that day, or 0.534 (53.4%) through that day. It also adjusts well to digital time representation using epochs, in that the internal time representation can be used directly both for computation and for user-facing display.


In mathematics and computing, hexadecimal (also base 16, or hex) is a positional numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols "0"–"9" to represent values zero to nine, and "A"–"F" (or alternatively "a"–"f") to represent values ten to fifteen.

Hexadecimal numerals are widely used by computer system designers and programmers, as they provide a more human-friendly representation of binary-coded values. Each hexadecimal digit represents four binary digits, also known as a nibble, which is half a byte. For example, a single byte can have values ranging from 0000 0000 to 1111 1111 in binary form, which can be more conveniently represented as 00 to FF in hexadecimal.

In mathematics, a subscript is typically used to specify the radix. For example the decimal value 10,995 would be expressed in hexadecimal as 2AF316. In programming, a number of notations are used to support hexadecimal representation, usually involving a prefix or suffix. The prefix 0x is used in C and related languages, which would denote this value by 0x2AF3.

Hexadecimal is used in the transfer encoding Base16, in which each byte of the plaintext is broken into two 4-bit values and represented by two hexadecimal digits.

List of unusual units of measurement

An unusual unit of measurement is a unit of measurement that does not form part of a coherent system of measurement; especially in that its exact quantity may not be well known or that it may be an inconvenient multiple or fraction of base units in such systems.

This definition is not exact since it includes units such as the week or the light-year are quite "usual" in the sense that they are often used but which can be "unusual" if taken out of their common context, as demonstrated by the Furlong/Firkin/Fortnight (FFF) system of units.

Many of the unusual units of measurements listed here are colloquial measurements, units devised to compare a measurement to common and familiar objects.


Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, to the future. Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.Time has long been an important subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a manner applicable to all fields without circularity has consistently eluded scholars.

Nevertheless, diverse fields such as business, industry, sports, the sciences, and the performing arts all incorporate some notion of time into their respective measuring systems.Time in physics is unambiguously operationally defined as "what a clock reads". See Units of Time. Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in both the International System of Units and International System of Quantities. Time is used to define other quantities – such as velocity – so defining time in terms of such quantities would result in circularity of definition. An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is highly useful in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life. The operational definition leaves aside the question whether there is something called time, apart from the counting activity just mentioned, that flows and that can be measured. Investigations of a single continuum called spacetime bring questions about space into questions about time, questions that have their roots in the works of early students of natural philosophy.

Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, and was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy. Periodic events and periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples include the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, the swing of a pendulum, and the beat of a heart. Currently, the international unit of time, the second, is defined by measuring the electronic transition frequency of caesium atoms (see below). Time is also of significant social importance, having economic value ("time is money") as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans.

Key concepts
Measurement and
  • Religion
  • Mythology
Philosophy of time
Human experience
and use of time
Time in
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