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Mary Eisenhart
Times Online

Dan Falk

In Search of Time

You probably have to juggle you time to fit in everything you want to do, but have you ever wanted a look at time from a wider perspective - how it how it has been measured and how it has been viewed in different cultures and at different points in history. If so then you might like to read In Search of Time: The Science of a Curious Dimension by Dan Falk

Falk looks at how ancient cultures built strudtures such as Stonehenge to keep track of the calendar, and at how clocks have developed, from sundials to the latest atomic clocks. He discusses how some cultures are 'slaves of the clock', whilst others have a more easygoing attitude, and there is a chapter on memory - how we recollect what happened to us years ago. The book goes on to look at the science of time - Newton, Einstein, and how the ages of the Earth and of the Universe have been measured. There is a discussion of the far future, and the book ends with a look at philosophical ideas about time.

Falk covers a lot of material in the book, but it never seems rushed. However, I didn't find it a particularly memorable book. Maybe its because I've read quite a few similar books, and this one doesn't go very deeply into any topic - its more useful as a general overview of the area. It would also provide a pleasant way of whiling away a few hours.