Book Details

Author  Alexander Waugh
Publisher  Carroll & Graf
Publication Date   July 10, 2001
ISBN  0786708700
Pages  288

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Fresh and accessible, entertaining and informative, this volume by Alexander Waugh recounts the flops and follies, triumphs and fears, crackpot theories and wondrous discoveries that have shaped the way humans have conceived of time since its dawn. His cast of characters ranging from the primitive homo erectus to modern time-explorers, from Zeno to Caesar to Pope Gregory, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein, Waugh moves with urbanity and aplomb from the stuff of myth to the theory of relativity. Calendars, eons, minutes, eternity -- no element of time is overlooked in this delightful and enlightening tour of science and history. It reveals, for instance, that atomic clocks can now tell time with an accuracy that loses only one second every 316,000 years. On the other hand, it also discloses that in ancient Rome no one noticed for ninety-nine years that a public sundial was recording time consistently wrong.

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