Autonomous Ticking Clocks from Axiomatic Principles

Mischa P. Woods

Institute for Theoretical Physics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

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There are many different types of time keeping devices. We use the phrase $\textit{ticking clock}$ to describe those which – simply put – ``tick'' at approximately regular intervals. Various important results have been derived for ticking clocks, and more are in the pipeline. It is thus important to understand the underlying models on which these results are founded. The aim of this paper is to introduce a new ticking clock model from axiomatic principles that overcomes concerns in the community about the physicality of the assumptions made in previous models. The ticking clock model in [1] achieves high accuracy, yet lacks the autonomy of the less accurate model in [2]. Importantly, the model we introduce here achieves the best of both models: it retains the autonomy of [2] while allowing for the high accuracies of [1]. What is more, [2] is revealed to be a special case of the new ticking clock model.

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