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A Brief History of Timekeeping

Audiobook
Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   12.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/29/2022

F O R T H C O M I N G ! Available March

A Brief History of Timekeeping

The Science of Marking Time, from Stonehenge to Atomic Clocks

Available from major retailers
Digital Download ISBN:9781696608329

Summary

Our modern lives are ruled by clocks and watches, smartphone apps and calendar programs. While our gadgets may be new, however, the drive to measure and master time is anything but—and in A Brief History of Timekeeping, Chad Orzel traces the path from Stonehenge to your smartphone.

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Product Description

Predating written language and marching on through human history, the desire for ever-better timekeeping has spurred technological innovation and sparked theories that radically reshaped our understanding of the universe and our place in it.

Chad Orzel, a physicist and bestselling author, continues his tradition of demystifying thorny scientific concepts by using the clocks and calendars central to our everyday activities as a jumping-off point to explore the science underlying the ways we keep track of our time. Ancient solstice markers depend on the basic astrophysics of our solar system; mechanical clocks owe their development to Newtonian physics; and the ultra-precise atomic timekeeping that enables GPS hinges on the predictable oddities of quantum mechanics.

Along the way, Orzel visits the delicate negotiations involved in Gregorian calendar reform, the intricate and entirely unique system employed by the Maya, and how the problem of synchronizing clocks at different locations ultimately required us to abandon the idea of time as an absolute and universal quantity. Sharp and engaging, A Brief History of Timekeeping is a story not just about the science of sundials, sandglasses, and mechanical clocks, but also the politics of calendars and time zones, the philosophy of measurement, and the nature of space and time itself.

Author Bio

Chad Orzel is a physicist, professor, and blogger, and the author of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog, How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog, and Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist. He is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, New York.