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In The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, there is extensive discussion of how Mandella decides

to wait six days after deploying the nova bomb outside the stasis field before they leave the field.

He estimates how long to wait as 5 hours to 6 days, and another character estimates 4.5 hours to 5 days, but Mandella is in command so he decides six days (he gets the only vote).

So after going through all the discussion of how long they should wait, I don't see how they would be able to tell five days from six days anyhow.
Electronics don't work in the stasis field and they can't get any signal from outside. Did I miss something? What's the explanation?

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The soldiers wore suits that protected them from the effects of the field, else their bodies would cease to function. Presumably they had clocks of some kind in their suits. Failing that, they could use their own circadian rhythms as a rough and ready estimate.

  • In principle they could also have a mechanical clock in which all the parts moved at low speed---something like a standard grandfather clock should be fine. – dmckee Oct 13 '12 at 15:29
  • A grandfather clock on a spaceship? I think acceleration could be a factor here. :) – Dima Oct 13 '12 at 22:15

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