9780312374785

In Search of Time: The Science of a Curious Dimension

Falk, Dan

ISBN 10: 031237478X / 0-312-37478-X
ISBN 13: 9780312374785
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

Time surrounds us. It defines our experience of the world; it echoes through our every waking hour. Time is the very foundation of conscious experience.  Yet as familiar as it is, time is also deeply mysterious. We cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or touch it. Yet we do feel it—or at least we think we feel it. No wonder poets, writers, philosophers, and scientists have grappled with time for centuries.

            In his latest book, award-winning science writer Dan Falk chronicles the story of how humans have come to understand time over the millennia, and by drawing from the latest research in physics, psychology, and other fields, Falk shows how that understanding continues to evolve. In Search of Time begins with our earliest ancestors’ perception of time and the discoveries that led—with much effort—to the Gregorian calendar, atomic clocks, and “leap seconds.” Falk examines the workings of memory, the brain’s remarkable “bridge across time,” and asks whether humans are unique in their ability to recall the past and imagine the future. He explores the possibility of time travel, and the paradoxes it seems to entail. Falk looks at the quest to comprehend the beginning of time and how time—and the universe—may end. Finally, he examines the puzzle of time’s “flow,” and the remarkable possibility that the passage of time may be an illusion.

Entertaining, illuminating, and ultimately thought provoking, In Search of Time reveals what some of our most insightful thinkers have had to say about time, from Aristotle to Kant, from Newton to Einstein, and continuing with the brightest minds of today.


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Falk, Dan
ISBN 10: 031237478X
ISBN 13: 9780312374785
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Book Description: Thomas Dunne Books, 2008. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: *starred review* Beginning with a 5000-year-old tomb in Drogheda, Ireland, illuminated only at the winter solstice, science writer Falk asks the question,"What is time'. the stuff that flows. [or] a dimension, like space?" Falk (Universe on a T-Shirt) explores the origins of calendar time, from primitive astronomical observatories to the precision clocks of today. Though the movement of the heavens provided the basis for years, months, days and even the seven-day week, it wasn''t until the Catholic Church needed to date important events like Easter that reconciling the lunar and solar calendars became a major concern; as such, the Church became "one of the strongest supporters of precision astronomy and timekeeping." Falk seamlessly combines science with literary and philosophical observations ("Chaucer had no notion of the length of a minute; Shakespeare did but nowhere does he mention the second") and digresses to fascinating topics like root notions of past and future, the vagaries of memory and the behavior of birds at breakfast time. Rounding out his multi-course feast, Falk contrasts Newton's notion of "[a]bsolute, true, and mathematical" time with Einstein's final words in 1955, "the distinction of past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion," to present modern speculations on black holes and the universe''s future. (Oct.). Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_031237478X

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