They say “time” is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.
Often referred to as the fourth dimension, time is the weighty subject of religion, philosophy, science and even life itself. Certainly, the notion of time is incorporated into the business world, industry, sports and the performing arts.
Two Different Philosophies of Time
- Issac Newton’s Realist View: Time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension independent of events, where events occur in sequence.
- Gottfried Leibniz’s and Immanuel Kant’s View: Time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled. Time does not refer to any kind of “container” that events and objects “move through,” nor to any entity that “flows.” Instead, time is part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) where humans sequence and compare events.
Chronometry – Methods of Measurement & Their History
The Calendar – a mathematical tool for organizing intervals of time. From Paleolithic times and Mayan civilization, to Roman times and the French Revolution, the moon and the sun are used to devise a 12- or 13-month year. During these times, some calendars are based on religion and astronomy. The calendar used today is known as the Gregorian calendar.
The Clock – a physical mechanism that counts the passage of time. The Egyptians measured time in c.1500 BC, followed by the sundial, the water clock or clepsydra, the hourglass and mechanical clocks such as the astronomical orrery and pendulums.
The word clock comes from the Middle Dutch word klocke, derived from the medieval Latin word clocca, derived from Celtic word meaning bell. Alarm clocks first appeared in ancient Greece around 250 BC.
Which are Most Accurate?
The most accurate timekeeping devices are atomic clocks. Today, GPS (Global Positioning System) in coordination with the Network Time Protocol can be used to synchronize timekeeping systems across the globe.
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