Do We Have Time for This? An Introduction to the Physical Laws of Timekeeping

Measuring and keeping time must have interested our prehistoric ancestors, and it became a necessity as soon as humans began to build societies. This course will explore the concept of time in several of its aspects and survey calendaring systems and measuring units, both of which were based first on the observation of nature and then on the continuous discovery of physical laws. We will examine these physical laws and discuss how their discovery resulted in more accuracy and precision, which in turn led to previously unimagined applications.

We will also examine tangible, in a sense “everyday” experiences and discover the physics behind them. We will also discuss the typical length of time various processes in nature take, from the very short to the very long. While looking at the very long, we'll briefly touch on the question: will time end?

While time and timekeeping are subjects rich in physics, no prior knowledge of physics is required.

Venue: The Engineering Center
Meets on: Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 4/6/2022
Sessions: 5
Class Size: 20
Teaching Style: Lecture with questions
Weekly Preparation: Optional
Group Leader Biography:

Sandor Illenyi is an IT professional who believes physics provides the most profound foundation for our understanding of the fabric of nature. He offers to share this view and his enthusiasm for the subject with diverse audiences; he designed and taught physics courses for the gifted in high school settings, was chief instructor of the college preparatory program at Semmelweis Medical School in Budapest, and he instructed aspiring physics teachers. He studied physics in his native Hungary before settling in his chosen home in Boston.