Physics Colloquium: It’s about time: A brief history of the calendar and timekeeping
How many times a day do you check your calendar or look at your clock? In this
modern age, our lives are driven by deadlines, schedules and timetables. Time
and its many divisions (hours, days, weeks, months and years) have completely
shaped our lives and yet it’s rare that we take the time to think about where
these concepts arise from.
The calendar as we know it is inextricably linked to the mechanics of our solar
system, and the way in which we describe our periods of time have arisen from
ancient speculation in astronomy, mathematics and religion.
In this talk, Donna will provide a brief history of our calendar and an
introduction to time measurement from ancient sundials to modern atomic
clocks. This is a fascinating field where astronomy, astrology, mathematics,
physics, politics, agriculture, superstition and religion all come together.