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The Java® Language Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Fourth Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Guy Steele, Bill Joy, James Gosling

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17.3. Sleep and Yield

Thread.sleep causes the currently executing thread to sleep (temporarily cease execution) for the specified duration, subject to the precision and accuracy of system timers and schedulers. The thread does not lose ownership of any monitors, and resumption of execution will depend on scheduling and the availability of processors on which to execute the thread.

It is important to note that neither Thread.sleep nor Thread.yield have any synchronization semantics. In particular, the compiler does not have to flush writes cached in registers out to shared memory before a call to Thread.sleep or Thread.yield, nor does the compiler have to reload values cached in registers after a call to Thread.sleep or Thread.yield.

For example, ...

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