If you know about the existence of different time zones, then you must be aware of Universal time (UTC). If not, then let me gibe a brief overview. UTC is a standard with which different time zones are compared for accuracy and it is used universally. But do you know why it is a standard or how it plays a major role in our technological devices, let’s find out.
Universal time is used world widely to regulate the clocks, one can say that it is the effective centre of our timekeeping. This very statement explains that Universal time is compared with all the time zones, so they can figure out the accuracy and difference. Some time zones may be behind the universal time while some may be ahead, it is a dependent factor. Another name to be used instead of Universal time is Coordinated universal time, both can be used interchangeably. To select a proper name for the time standard was also a minor crises for a time being as English speakers wanted its abbreviation as “CUT” (coordinated universal time) while the French people wanted it to be “TUC” but none of them was chosen and the finalized abbreviation is “UTC”.
History Of UTC vs GMT
GMT or you can say Greenwich Mean Time has often been observed to be interchangeably used instead of Universal Time (UTC). But this synonymous use should only be limited to informal uses, and not official uses as they are not exactly the same. GMT is a time zone that is located on the prime meridian. In 1884, it was declared as international standard. This was decided in the international meridian conference, as the major countries came united to decide the prime meridian for the planet Earth shall be. Then according to this standard time will be different around different areas of the world. Greenwich name was decided as the prime meridian runs through the Royal Observatory Greenwich. And hence it was named as this. From the time period of 1884-1950, GMT was used as international standard for the time zones all over the world. In 1950, the invention of atomic clocks was completed, and to have more accuracy in time was made possible. Atomic clocks are more accurate than solar time. In 1960, this new standard of time started to be used, but it wasn’t officially in use until 1967. After a few years of this invention, new coordinated time replaced GMT. And so now you can clearly understand that GMT is a time zone, but UTC is a time standard as it replaced GMT in the past. Universal time was only successful to replace Greenwich Time because it came with a lot more accuracy, and in time factors, accuracy is the main dependent.
How UTC Is Being Used In The Computers?
As we know, all the devices need to keep track of time, for better functioning and also we need this factor on our devices otherwise we’ll miss track of time. As you can set the clock manually but your device has an automatic system to check the time with universal time, to show accuracy and correct time zones. Now if we talk about computers’ software windows is the only one that shows the time in your local time, all the other show time in UTC unless set manually.
Universal Time Offsets And Locations
Just as GMT, Universal time is also dependent on prime meridian. This time is communicated by using 24-hour time clock or you can say Military time clock to avoid confusion and misconception. Universal time does not change for any of the daylight amount as accuracy is its main goal. Pilots also prefer use of UTC as it is more convenient for them, hence this is their prime choice. Because pilots are one of those people that need to jump into different time zones time after time, and in that case, use of universal time is the best choice.
All the time zones are offset from Universal Time, the difference can vary, some may show difference of half an hour and some may even vary to 15 minutes, it depends on several factors. For better understanding you can take time in the months of winter, in North America is reported to be 5 hours behind than the standard of time (I.e. Universal Time). Now the change also observe whether the areas are observing daylight saving times or not. If you don’t know daylight saving times, then let me define it for you, it is known as summers time, and in this you can skip a few hours in your clock and in this way you can save some daylight. For better understanding you can click on our daylight saving time article. Now to explain the relation between daylight saving time and universal time, we can again take example of North America, there daylight saving time is four (4) hours behind the UTC because the clocks there are moved one hour ahead for the purpose of daylight saving.
On the other hand, in United Kingdom, Portugal and some countries in western Africa are coordinated with Universal time or Greenwich mean time, and this is observed in the months of winters. So those that observe daylight saving time will then be one hour ahead in the months of summer. To make such distinction, these countries use different time zones, known as Britain Summer Time.
In this way, different States and countries uses different time zones and some are ahead of Universal time while others are behind it. All of this is caused so the accuracy of time shall be observed. Now it must be clear to you how UTC works as a time standard all over the world, and to clear it out more for you, let us represent a comparative table.
Table Showing Time Zones Of Canada And United States
|4 p.m.||5 p.m.||5 p.m.||6 p.m.||6 p.m.||7 p.m.||7 p.m.||8 p.m.||00:00|
|5 p.m.||6 p.m.||6 p.m.||7 p.m.||7 p.m.||8 p.m.||8 p.m.||9 p.m.||01:00|
|6 p.m.||7 p.m.||7 p.m.||8 p.m.||8 p.m.||9 p.m.||9 p.m.||10 p.m.||02:00|
|7 p.m.||8 p.m.||8 p.m.||9 p.m.||9 p.m.||10 p.m.||10 p.m.||11 p.m.||03:00|
|8 p.m.||9 p.m.||9 p.m.||10 p.m.||10 p.m.||11 p.m.||11 p.m.||Midnight||04:00|
|9 p.m.||10 p.m.||10 p.m.||11 p.m.||11 p.m.||Midnight||Midnight||1 a.m.||05:00|
|10 p.m.||11 p.m.||11 p.m.||Midnight||Midnight||1 a.m.||1 a.m.||2 a.m.||06:00|
|11 p.m.||Midnight||Midnight||1 a.m.||1 a.m.||2 a.m.||2 a.m.||3 a.m.||07:00|
|Midnight||1 a.m.||1 a.m.||2 a.m.||2 a.m.||3 a.m.||3 a.m.||4 a.m.||08:00|
|1 a.m.||2 a.m.||2 a.m.||3 a.m.||3 a.m.||4 a.m.||4 a.m.||5 a.m.||09:00|
|2 a.m.||3 a.m.||3 a.m.||4 a.m.||4 a.m.||5 a.m.||5 a.m.||6 a.m.||10:00|
|3 a.m.||4 a.m.||4 a.m.||5 a.m.||5 a.m.||6 a.m.||6 a.m.||7 a.m.||11:00|
|4 a.m.||5 a.m.||5 a.m.||6 a.m.||6 a.m.||7 a.m.||7 a.m.||8 a.m.||12:00|
|5 a.m.||6 a.m.||6 a.m.||7 a.m.||7 a.m.||8 a.m.||8 a.m.||9 a.m.||13:00|
|6 a.m.||7 a.m.||7 a.m.||8 a.m.||8 a.m.||9 a.m.||9 a.m.||10 a.m.||14:00|
|7 a.m.||8 a.m.||8 a.m.||9 a.m.||9 a.m.||10 a.m.||10 a.m.||11 a.m.||15:00|
|8 a.m.||9 a.m.||9 a.m.||10 a.m.||10 a.m.||11 a.m.||11 a.m.||Noon||16:00|
|9 a.m.||10 a.m.||10 a.m.||11 a.m.||11 a.m.||Noon||Noon||1 p.m.||17:00|
|10 a.m.||11 a.m.||11 a.m.||Noon||Noon||1 p.m.||1 p.m.||2 p.m.||18:00|
|11 a.m.||Noon||Noon||1 p.m.||1 p.m.||2 p.m.||2 p.m.||3 p.m.||19:00|
|Noon||1 p.m.||1 p.m.||2 p.m.||2 p.m.||3 p.m.||3 p.m.||4 p.m.||20:00|
|1 p.m.||2 p.m.||2 p.m.||3 p.m.||3 p.m.||4 p.m.||4 p.m.||5 p.m.||21:00|
|2 p.m.||3 p.m.||3 p.m.||4 p.m.||4 p.m.||5 p.m.||5 p.m.||6 p.m.||22:00|
|3 p.m.||4 p.m.||4 p.m.||5 p.m.||5 p.m.||6 p.m.||6 p.m.||7 p.m.||23:00|