Browse Definitions :
Definition

jiffy

The term jiffy refers to a brief, usually unspecified, interval of time . In scientific and lay applications, it can refer to any of several specific time spans. The most common interpretation is 0.01 second.

In computer engineering, the length of time between successive microprocessor clock cycle s is sometimes called a jiffy. This interval gets shorter as clock speeds increase. In a computer with a 2- gigahertz microprocessor, the jiffy is 0.5 nanosecond or 5 x 10 -10 second. In a machine with a 3-gigahertz microprocessor, the jiffy is 0.333 nanosecond (3.33 x 10 -10 second).

In some circles, the length of time required for one alternating-current ( AC ) utility power cycle is called a jiffy. In the United States and Canada, this is 1/60 second. In many other countries, it is 1/50 second.

In some publications, the term jiffy refers to 0.001 second. In others, it corresponds to the length of time required for a beam of light to travel one foot in free space; this is approximately 1 nanosecond. In still others, it refers to 3.3357 times 10 -11 seconds, which is the length of time it takes a ray of light to travel 1 centimeter in free space. Perhaps the most interesting interpretation is the one suggested by Richard Tolman early in the 20th century. He considered a jiffy to be the length of time it takes a photon (light particle) to travel from one side of a nucleon (neutron or proton) to the other. A nucleon has a diameter of about 10 -15 meter; a jiffy in this context is a paltry 3.3357 x 10 -24 second.

The origin of the term jiffy is unknown. It is thought to have first been used in England during the 1700s, and referred to a brief but indeterminate time. But in some contexts, it is used as a put-off: the expression in a jiffy can mean "maybe now, maybe never."

This was last updated in September 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

  • fee-for-service (FFS)

    Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model in which doctors, hospitals, and medical practices charge separately for each service ...

  • biomedical informatics

    Biomedical informatics is the branch of health informatics that uses data to help clinicians, researchers and scientists improve ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

  • natural disaster recovery

    Natural disaster recovery is the process of recovering data and resuming business operations following a natural disaster.

SearchStorage

  • RAID 5

    RAID 5 is a redundant array of independent disks configuration that uses disk striping with parity.

  • non-volatile storage (NVS)

    Non-volatile storage (NVS) is a broad collection of technologies and devices that do not require a continuous power supply to ...

  • petabyte

    A petabyte is a measure of memory or data storage capacity that is equal to 2 to the 50th power of bytes.

Close