Time

Category archives for Time

There’s a new Science Express paper on interfering clocks today, which is written up in Physics World, with comments from yours truly. The quote is from a much longer message I sent– with no expectation that it would end up as anything other than a pull quote, I might add, but I thought the background…

My Valuable Extra Phone

Back when we went to London for Worldcon (and then I went to Sweden for a workshop), I bought a smartphone in Heathrow thinking I could sell it back when I left. That turned out not to work the way we thought, but it’s served me well ever since as an e-reader. It can’t connect…

I wrote up another piece about football for the Conversation, this time drawing on material from Eureka, explaining how great football players are using scientific thinking: Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some…

If I Were Ted Chiang…

(That title doesn’t quite scan as is, but if you stick an “a” in there, you can sing it to the tune of a song from “Fiddler on the Roof”… You’re welcome.) The last time I taught my “Brief History of Timekeeping” seminar was in 2012, so I spent a bunch of time on the…

I exchanged a bunch of emails a week or two ago with a journalist who was working on a story involving the possibility of faster-than-light travel. He wanted me to check some statements about the relationship between FTL and causality. FTL creates problems for causality, because if you have an object moving faster than light,…

Last year, Alan Alda posed a challenge to science communicators, to explain a flame in terms that an 11-year old could understand. this drew a lot of responses, and some very good winners. This year’s contest, though still called the “Flame Challenge,” asked for an answer to the question “What Is Time?” This is a…

SCENE: The library at Chateau Steelypips. DADDY is typing on the computer, while THE PIP plays on the floor. Enter STEELYKID. STEELYKID: I’m already four years old. DADDY: Yes, yes you are. THE PIP: Thbbbbbbbpppt! STEELYKID: How old is The Pip? DADDY: Eleven months. Not quite one year. STEELYKID: When The Pip is four, how…

We’re in the home stretch of this term, and it has become clear that I won’t actually be using the toy model of the arrow of time I’ve talked about in the past in my timekeeping class this term. These things happen. Having spent a not-insignificant amount of time playing with the thing, though, I…

It’s been a little while since I wrote up what I’ve been doing in my “Brief History of Timekeeping” class, because I was out of town, and then catching up from being out of town. Some of this material has already appeared here, though, so I can hopefully catch up a lot of stuff in…