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Of Clocks and Time


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Of Clocks and Time takes readerson a five-stop journey through the physics and technology (and occasional bits ofapplications and history) of timekeeping. On the way, conceptual vistas and qualitative images abound, but since mathematicsis spoken everywhere the book visits equations, quantitative relations, and rigorous definitions are offered as well. Theexpedition begins with a discussion of the rhythms produced by the daily and annual motion of sun, moon, planets, and stars.Centuries worth of observation and thinking culminate in Newton's penetrating theoretical insights since his notion of spaceand time are still influential today. During the following two legs of the trip, tools are being examined that allow us tomeasure hours and minutes and then, with ever growing precision, the tiniest fractions of a second. When the pace of travelapproaches the ultimate speed limit, the speed of light, time and space exhibit strange and counter-intuitive traits. On thisfourth stage of the journey, Einstein is the local tour guide whose special and general theories of relativity explain thebehavior of clocks under these circumstances. Finally, the last part of the voyage reverses direction, moving ever deeper intothe past to explore how we can tell the age of "things"-including that of the universe itself.

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Book Details

  • EPUB format
  • ISBN: 9781681740966

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