Synchronization or synchronisation is timekeeping which requires the coordination of events to operate a system in unison. The familiar conductor of an orchestra serves to keep the orchestra in time. Systems operating with all their parts in synchrony are said to be synchronous or in sync. Some systems may be only approximately synchronized, or plesiochronous. For some applications relative offsets between events need to be determined, for others only the order of the event is important.
The history of synchronization goes back to the seventeenth century when the famous Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens reported on his observation of synchronization of two pendulum clocks which he had invented shortly before: “… It is quite worth noting that when we suspended two clocks so constructed from two hooks imbedded in the same wooden beam, the motions of each pendulum in opposite swings were so much in agreement that they never receded the least bit from each other and the sound...
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