A Brief History of Timekeeping: The Science of Marking Time, from Stonehenge to Atomic Clocks

Highbridge Audio. Jan. 2022. 12:28 hrs. ISBN 9781696607636. $19.99. SCI
Physicist and best-selling author Orzel (Breakfast with Einstein) takes listeners on a tour of horological and calendrical devices of the past and present, with a glimpse into what the future of timekeeping may bring. Orzel’s exploration of timekeeping starts from humankind’s first attempts to gauge the seasons with Neolithic monuments such as Stonehenge and Newgrange. He then proceeds through the earliest recorded calendars, including the Julian, Gregorian, and Mayan calendars, along with those used in Judaism and Islam, some of which are still in use today. Orzel details a fascinating array of timekeeping pieces, including sand glasses and water-, pendulum-, atomic-, and quantum-clocks. The book closes with speculation about how timekeeping may evolve, leading listeners to imagine the many advances that new technologies might bring. Podcast producer and host Mike Lenz narrates this book with a natural and engaging style, making some of the more technical information accessible.
VERDICT This history of timekeeping devices and how they were impacted by developments in Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics is a good purchase for science collections.
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