Date: October 7, 2010
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Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC assistant professor of Physics, helps install the sundial located in the mid-campus quad, adjacent to Schwarz Hall.
PNC Receives Sundial from the North American Sundial Society
Westville – Purdue University North Central will host a dedication ceremony for its new sundial on Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. The sundial is located in the University quad, directly behind Schwarz Hall.
The dedication will be part of the day's celebration of the 12 th opening of its Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series. The Odyssey sculpture opening will get underway at 5 p.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02. Formal remarks will follow at 5:30 p.m.
The sundial was designed by Dr. John Davis, of Flowton Dials, in the United Kingdom, as a direct result of his being awarded the 2009 Sawyer Dialing Prize by the North American Sundial Society (NASS). It has become a tradition for the prize money to be used to support the commissioning of a public sundial. PNC was selected for this honor by the NASS President, Frederick W. Sawyer III in consultation with Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC assistant professor of Physics.
Sawyer and Warren will be present for the dedication ceremony and will lead a variety of activities, including instruction on how to check the day's time by consulting the sundial.
Warren describes this to be a “double-horizontal sundial.” It is so-named because it combines two forms of dial, one being the standard horizontal garden sundial, the other indicating the position of the sun relative to the stars.
The PNC dial is in the shape of an unconventional nine-sided polygon, in recognition of 2009, the year the sundial was awarded the Sawyer Dialing Prize. The dial is made of marine brass construction.
Warren noted this was custom designed for the PNC latitude and longitude, so it may tell local solar time very precisely. “It will be more accurate than most people's watches,” he said.
There are instructions on a plaque on how to read solar time and convert it to clock time. It is capable of telling the time, the position of the sun in the sky, the position of the sun along the ecliptic - the annual path of the sun relative to the stars in the sky and the time of sunrise and sunset of any day in the year.
Warren explained that this type of dial was invented in the 1600's by Rev. William Oughtred. For more than a century one of the final tests for an apprentice sundialist, particularly in England, was to design a double-horizontal dial, as it was then considered state-of-the-art.
The motto engraved on the dial is "I mark my hours by shadow; Mayest thou mark thine by sunshine" from Carol Brevoort Hilton-Turvey. Another motto in classical Greek, distributed in the corners of the dial, is spelled Zeta-Eta-Theta-Iota and is the imperative "Live!" and is the motto of the Sawyer Dialing Prize.
Fuirther information about the summer camp can be obtained by contacting Liz Bernel, PNC Coordinator of Special Events and Marketing at 785-5200, ext. 5719 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Bernel.