The minute is a

"Arc Minute."

From

unit
Unit may refer to:
Arts and entertainment
* UNIT
Unit may refer to:
Arts and entertainment
* UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who''
* Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in ...

of time
Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various me ...

usually equal to (the first sexagesimal
Sexagesimal, also known as base 60 or sexagenary, is a numeral system
A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system
A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication
Communication (from Latin ...

fraction) of an hour
An hour (metric symbol, symbol: h; also abbreviated hr) is a unit of measurement, unit of time conventionally reckoned as of a day and scientifically reckoned as 3,599–3,601 seconds, depending on conditions. There are 60 minutes in an hour, a ...

, or 60 second
The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the of in the (SI) (french: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as of a – this factor derived from the division of the day first into 24 s, th ...

s. In the UTC time standard
A time standard is a specification for measuring time: either the rate at which time passes; or points in time; or both. In modern times, several time specifications have been officially recognized as standards, where formerly they were matters of ...

, a minute on rare occasions has 61 seconds, a consequence of leap second
A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), to accommodate the difference between precise time (International Atomic Time (TAI), as measured by atomic clocks) and imprecise solar tim ...

s (there is a provision to insert a negative leap second, which would result in a 59-second minute, but this has never happened in more than 40 years under this system). Although not an unit, the minute is accepted for use with SI units. The SI symbol for ''minute'' or ''minutes'' is min (without a dot). The prime symbol
The prime symbol , double prime symbol , triple prime symbol , and quadruple prime symbol are used to designate units and for other purposes in mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quan ...

is also sometimes used informally to denote minutes of time.
History

Al-Biruni
Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) was an Iranian
Iranian may refer to:
* Iran
Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a co ...

first subdivided the hour sexagesimal
Sexagesimal, also known as base 60 or sexagenary, is a numeral system
A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system
A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication
Communication (from Latin ...

ly into minutes, second
The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the of in the (SI) (french: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as of a – this factor derived from the division of the day first into 24 s, th ...

s, thirds and fourths in 1000 CE while discussing Jewish months.
Historically, the word "minute" comes from the Latin ''pars minuta prima'', meaning "first small part". This division of the hour can be further refined with a "second small part" (Latin: ''pars minuta secunda''), and this is where the word "second" comes from. For even further refinement, the term "third" ( of a second) remains in some languages, for example Polish
Polish may refer to:
* Anything from or related to Poland
Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...

(''tercja'') and Turkish
Turkish may refer to:
* of or about Turkey
Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

(''salise''), although most modern usage subdivides seconds by using decimals. The symbol notation of the prime for minutes and double prime for seconds can be seen as indicating the first and second cut of the hour (similar to how the foot is the first cut of the yard
300px, Bronze Yard No.11, the official standard of length for the Treasury Department
A treasury is either
*A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry.
*A place or location where treasure, s ...

or perhaps chain
A chain is a assembly of connected pieces, called links, typically made of metal, with an overall character similar to that of a in that it is flexible and d in but , rigid, and load-bearing in . A chain may consist of two or more links. C ...

, with inches as the second cut). In 1267, the medieval scientist Roger Bacon
Roger Bacon (; la, Rogerus or ', also '' Rogerus''; ), also known by the Scholastic accolades, scholastic accolade ''Doctor Mirabilis'', was a medieval England, medieval English philosopher and Franciscans, Franciscan friar who placed consider ...

, writing in Latin, defined the division of time between full moon
The full Moon of 22 October 2010, as seen through a lunistice),_so_the_southern_lunar_craters.html" ;"title="lunar_standstill.html" ;"title="ecliptic_coordinate_system.html" "title="Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. This full Moon was near its nort ...

s as a number of hours, minutes, seconds, thirds, and fourths (''horae'', ''minuta'', ''secunda'', ''tertia'', and ''quarta'') after noon on specified calendar dates. The introduction of the minute hand into watches was possible only after the invention of the hairspring by Thomas Tompion, an English watchmaker, in 1675.
See also

*International System of Units
The International System of Units, known by the international abbreviation SI in all languages and sometimes Pleonasm#Acronyms_and_initialisms, pleonastically as the SI system, is the modern form of the metric system and the world's most wi ...

* Latitude and longitude
In geography
Geography (from Greek
Greek may refer to:
Greece
Anything of, from, or related to Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...

* Orders of magnitude (time)
An order of magnitude
An order of magnitude is an approximation of the logarithm
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure ...

Notes and references

Bibliography

* Henry Campbell Black,Black's Law Dictionary
''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most widely used law dictionary
Image:Legal Dictionaries.jpg, 300px, Several English and Russian legal dictionaries
A law dictionary (also known as legal dictionary) is a dictionary that is designed and compiled to ...

, 6th Edition, entry on Minute. West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1991.
* Eric W. Weisstein"Arc Minute."

From

MathWorld
''MathWorld'' is an online mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematica ...

—A Wolfram
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Orders of magnitude (time)
Units of time