The Arithmetics were a group consisting mainly of physicists and mathematicians. When the need for a standardized time throughout New Eden was identified, The Arithmetics wanted the new calendar and clock to have nothing whatsoever to do with old planetary-based calendars, but to based entirely on mathematics. They claimed that the physics-oriented nature of the modern world demanded this.
When attempting to determine a universal timekeeping standard between regions, one of the factions attempting to make their case came to be known as the Arithmetics. Comprised mainly of engineers and physicists, the Arithmetics sought to use naturally occurring phenomena and mathematical permutations thereof to dictate a "pure" clock. During this time, the region now known as Period Basis was an area of intensive research. The region's inordinately high concentration of pulsars of various frequencies led the physicists to try to find some lowest common denominator among the harmonics, or in the common parlance of astronomer Callentus Holzine, "a basis from which the shortest period can be rigorously calculated, with all larger units of time expressed as multiples of that period."
Once the Traditionalists carried the day with their historical reconstructions of the Earth-standard clock, extensive scientific exploration of the region lapsed in importance, and today the region's large number of pulsars and other stellar phenomena are largely considered merely a curiosity.