The Leap Year as defined by Wikipedia:
Although most years of the modern calendar have 365 days, a complete revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours. Every four years, during which an extra 24 hours have accumulated, one extra day is added to keep the count coordinated with the sun’s apparent position.
And so here we are, Feb. 29, 2012, trying to compensate for an inaccuracy in the basic system we use for measuring time. A mathematician said: “Wait! it doesn’t add up! 365 days is 6 hrs too short! but I don’t want to start again, so let’s just tack on an extra day every four years. Simple and effective. Plus that way I can finally move on to my next project.” But wait! There’s more!
It is, however, slightly inaccurate to calculate an additional 6 hours each year. A better approximation, derived from the Alfonsine tables, is that the Earth makes a complete revolution around the sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds. To compensate for the difference, an end-of-century year is not a leap year unless it is also exactly divisible by 400. This means that the years 1600 and 2000 were leap years, as will be 2400 and 2800, but the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not, nor will 2100, 2200 and 2300.
But it makes my brain hurt to think how limited this approach is. If you’ve discovered an inaccuracy in your formula, shouldn’t you start again rather than create a more complicated formula? otherwise, your result is always founded on a weak theory.
Time is a mathematical concept, and as Einstein said: As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
So rather than forgetting about it again until feb. 29, 2016, let’s start a Leap Day Resolution – where we resolve to remember that time is more than mere squares on a calendar, and less than a definition of age or experience.
The idea for Metric Time is an interesting one to look into.
Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. - A. Einstein