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About Time
 
 

About Time [Kindle Edition]

Adam Frank
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Review

“A fascinating and comprehensive survey of how technology - from farming to railways to telegraphy to the internet - has changed our everyday concept of time. [Frank] is excellent at showing how our ideas of human and cosmic time have evolved hand in hand... Compelling.” - Marcus Chown, New Scientist

“Eloquent... [Frank's] trek through the history of humanity takes a parallel look at how we have gained a deeper grasp of the Universe during our time on Earth.” - Nature

“Today there are many books on the nature of time as we experience it and even more on cosmic time as revealed by science. Yet few attempt to recount the entwined narratives of cosmic history and human time as a unified whole. Adam Frank's About Time does just that... [An] excellent book.” - The Telegraph

“In this ambitious and wonderfully expansive study, [Frank] weaves together the parallel histories of personal, lived time with cosmic time - the cosmologies that we have been fashioning to explain the universe since the dawn of human civilisation.”

--The Guardian

“Contains enough that is original to keep even seasoned ‘time buffs’ engaged, and its author is a first-rate storyteller. Reading About Time would be time well spent.” - Physics World

“The central thesis of Frank is that... our science of time has been moulded by social time and vice versa. The links between the two stories are artfully made... It is a novel, popular approach, and for anyone wanting to explore cosmology for the first time, this would be a good place to start.”

--Astronomy Now

“A phenomenal blend of science and cultural history... Ultimately, Frank argues that recognizing our place in the ongoing narrative of the creation of cultural time and cosmic time - moving beyond the cosmology of the Big Bang (of which ‘ours’ may be one of many) - is what will allow mankind to enter a new, global era of time and culture.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“From prehistory to the Enlightenment, through Einstein and on to the multiverse, this is a rich and inspiring tour through some of the biggest ideas that have ever been thought.”

--Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here and The Particle at the End of the Universe

“Contains enough that is original to keep even seasoned ‘time buffs’ engaged, and its author is a first-rate storyteller. Reading About Time would be time well spent.” - Physics World

“The central thesis of Frank is that... our science of time has been moulded by social time and vice versa. The links between the two stories are artfully made... It is a novel, popular approach, and for anyone wanting to explore cosmology for the first time, this would be a good place to start.”

--Astronomy Now

“A phenomenal blend of science and cultural history... Ultimately, Frank argues that recognizing our place in the ongoing narrative of the creation of cultural time and cosmic time - moving beyond the cosmology of the Big Bang (of which ‘ours’ may be one of many) - is what will allow mankind to enter a new, global era of time and culture.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“From prehistory to the Enlightenment, through Einstein and on to the multiverse, this is a rich and inspiring tour through some of the biggest ideas that have ever been thought.”

--Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here and The Particle at the End of the Universe

Product Description

From a Palaeolithic farmer living by the sun and stone plinths to the factory worker logging into an industrial punch clock to the modern manager enslaved to Outlook's 15-minute increments, our relationship with time has constantly evolved alongside our scientific understanding of the universe. And the latest advances in physics string-theory branes, multiverses, "clockless" physics are positioned to completely rewrite time in the coming years. Weaving cosmology with day-to-day chronicles and a lively wit, astrophysicist Adam Frank tells the dazzling story of humanity's invention of time and how we will experience it in the future.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2690 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1851689095
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (15 Mar 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078XFUG6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,606 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than ever, time is a mystery 3 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have long been fascinated by time. Why does time's arrow appear to flow in only one direction? Why is it that our experience of time can vary depending on what particular sort of experience we are undergoing?
Adam Frank offers a story in two parts. The early chapters of his book are about the links between culture and time. His remarks on this theme range from the dawn of pre-history (the beginning of time?) through the development of human interest in various cycles of time: the day, the month, the year, and so on. As the accuracy of scientific observations increases so there is a shift in human perceptions of time. As the present time we (in the developed world) are captives to a time-world whose granularity is very tiny; our smart phones and GPS receivers drive us to divide time into ever smaller intervals. This exposition of time as a cultural artefact is excellent.
But with the researches of Einstein we have been taught that things are not quite as simple as we imagined. Time, space and velocity interact in ways that challenge our facile preconceptions. Even as Einstein's results were finding their way into the scientific mainstream, other researchers were probing even deeper imponderables: was there a beginning of time? Is time linear or circular? Can it even go backwards???
So the book shades into its mind-blowing second half, as Frank guides his readers through a bewildering collection of theories about time and its beginnings (or not) and the possibilities of multiple universes. One wonders: where is William of Occam when you need him?
So it is that some cosmologists have become disenchanted with the increasingly weird speculations about time and space and try to draw the scientific community back to evidence-based reasoning.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time 19 July 2012
By Tudor C
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is an excellent, comprehensive look at all aspects of time, some of which I hadn't thought of before. It is well written and easy to follow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Tsuchan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a curious book: unique in starting the narrative far back in history, and working gradually forward (more or less chronologically) through Egyptians, dark ages, the one-handed clock era, two-handed clock era, the life effects on humans of a changing understanding of time; right through to the modern theories of time in the cosmos. Even as an avid reader of cosmology books, some things were new and fascinating to me; while some things I've read elsewhere became clearer or gave new insight.

Time is abundant in this book. It's the primary subject, of course, but also its strength and its weakness. On the positive side, Adam Frank takes the time other authors cannot afford to give lots more detail. For example, I've often heard that Lamaître was the Belgian Priest who first theorised the big bang, and about Gamow's work in nuclear physics. But this book told the story of how the Big Bang concept was almost separately theorised three times and fell out of favour; about weaknesses of Lamaître's concept; about the Alpher and Gamow paper about the Big Bang to which Gamow spuriously added the name of the Nobel laureate Hans Bethe as a joke to make the paper's authors sound like "Alpha, Beta and Gamma"; that all three scientists had eventually left theoretical physics in some disillusionment, and that Gamow had written "Mr Tompkins" books about a guy falling asleep during lectures of famous physicists and having dreams which explained the principles of their work. This kind of fascinating detail runs through the book, and it's great!

On the other hand, the author takes regular time-outs from his factual account, to relate bizarre stories which seem so tangential, it's like somebody switching TV channels without warning.
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