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Currently, the international unit of time, the second, is defined by measuring the electronic transition frequency of caesium atoms (see below).
The numbers twelve and thirteen came to feature prominently in many cultures, at least partly due to this relationship of months to years.
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.
Two contrasting viewpoints on time divide prominent philosophers.
One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe—a dimension independent of events, in which events occur in sequence.
Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.
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.
and the clock, a physical mechanism that counts the passage of time.
In day-to-day life, the clock is consulted for periods less than a day whereas the calendar is consulted for periods longer than a day.
The position of the shadow marks the hour in local time.
The idea to separate the day into smaller parts is credited to Egyptians because of their sundials, which operated on a duodecimal system.
The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events.