Calculating Time

With William Green

Time seems basic, or at least fundamental­—it structures our lives, orders our histories, and subdivides our experience of events. But asking what time is, and how we measure it, generates a vast number of questions: why do we have time zones? how is a second defined? what relationship does human time have with the physical structure of the universe? As an attempt to answer the last question might reveal, the concept of time exists at the intersection of human experience and the nature of reality. In this course, we will read a range of papers concerning the calculation of time from a variety of academic disciplines concerning contemporary and historical calculations of time.