Jiffy | 23 Sep 2009

shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
What is Jiffy ? Should be simple enough huh
sameer_havakajoka's Avatar
Skilled contributor
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."
sameer_havakajoka's Avatar
Skilled contributor
Some people use it to mean a very short time, usually with arbitrary and undefined value.

In electronics, a jiffy is the time between cycles of alternating current, 1/50 or 1/60 seconds for most countries (the inverse of the frequency).

In physics, a jiffy is the time taken for light to travel a set distance; one definition is the distance of one fermi, 10-15 metres. Here a jiffy is around 3 x 10-29 seconds. It is also used to mean the Planck time, which is the time light takes to travel one Planck length.

In computing, a jiffy is the duration of one tick in the system timer interrupter. Most jiiffys/jiffies here would be between 1 and 10 milliseconds (milli- is one thousandth).

Many people also believe that it is one centisecond (centi- means one hundredth), and use it as such.
xpi0t0s's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2004
Mentor
Depends on the context. A Jiffy bag is a padded bag that you can send stuff in the post in so that it is protected.
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Any would do and so Congrats Sameer once again.
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