The Historical Impact of Measuring Time

via Scientific American

Humans have tracked time in one way or another in every civilization we have records of, writes physicist Chad Orzel. In his new book A Brief History of Timekeeping (BenBella Books, 2022), Orzel chronicles Neolithic efforts to predict solstices and other astronomical events, the latest atomic clocks that keep time to ever more precise decimals and everything that came in between. He describes the evolution of clocks, from water clocks that timed intervals by how long it took water to flow out of a container to hourglasses filled with sand to the first mechanical and pendulum clocks to our modern era. Each episode is filled with interesting physics and engineering, as well as a glimpse at how different ways of keeping time affected how people lived their lives at various points and places in history.

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