The Instant Class
One of the core classes of the Date-Time API is the
Instant class, which represents the start of a nanosecond on the timeline. This class is useful for generating a time stamp to represent machine time.
Instant timestamp = Instant.now();
A value returned from the
Instant class counts time beginning from the first second of January 1, 1970 (1970-01-01T00:00:00Z) also called the
EPOCH. An instant that occurs before the epoch has a negative value, and an instant that occurs after the epoch has a positive value.
toString() on an
Instant produces output like the following:
This format follows the ISO-8601 standard for representing date and time.
Instant oneHourLater = Instant.now().plus(1, ChronoUnit.HOURS);
There are methods for comparing instants, such as
until() method returns how much time exists between two
Instant objects. The following line of code reports how many seconds have occurred since the beginning of the Java epoch.
long secondsFromEpoch = Instant.ofEpochSecond(0L).until(Instant.now(), ChronoUnit.SECONDS);
Instant class does not work with human units of time, such as years, months, or days. If you want to perform calculations in those units, you can convert an
Instant to another class, such as
ZonedDateTime, by binding the
Instant with a time zone. You can then access the value in the desired units. The following code converts an
Instant to a
LocalDateTime object using the
ofInstant() method and the default time zone, and then prints out the date and time in a more readable form:
Instant timestamp; LocalDateTime ldt = LocalDateTime.ofInstant(timestamp, ZoneId.systemDefault()); System.out.printf("%s %d %d at %d:%d%n", ldt.getMonth(), ldt.getDayOfMonth(), ldt.getYear(), ldt.getHour(), ldt.getMinute());
The output will be similar to the following:
MAY 30 2021 at 18:21
ZonedDateTime or an
OffsetDateTime object can be converted to an
Instant object, as each maps to an exact moment on the timeline. However, the reverse is not true. To convert an
Instant object to a
ZonedDateTime or an
OffsetDateTime object requires supplying time zone, or time zone offset, information.
Last update: January 27, 2022