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jiffy

1. The duration of one tick of the computer's system clock. Often one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the US and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more recently 1/100 sec has become common.

2. Confusingly, the term is sometimes also used for a 1-millisecond wall time interval. Even more confusingly, physicists semi-jokingly use "jiffy" to mean the time required for light to travel one foot in a vacuum, which turns out to be close to one *nanosecond*.

[Jargon File]

(2002-03-02)


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