The Clock Mirage Our Myth of Measured Time Joseph Mazur

Publication date:
23 Jun 2020
Yale University Press
272 pages: 235 x 156mm
22 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Award-winning author and mathematician Joseph Mazur questions the nature of time and argues that no clock can be purely physical, philosophical, or mathematical. Mazur provides an engaging exploration of how the understanding of time has evolved throughout human history and offers a compelling new vision. Along the way, we learn that a forty-eight-hour journey on the Space Shuttle can feel shorter than a six-hour trip on the Soyuz capsule, that the Amondawa of the Amazon do not have ages, and why time fools us with the feeling that it speeds up as we age.
With a narrative punctuated by personal stories of time’s effects on truck drivers, Olympic racers, prisoners, and clockmakers, Mazur’s journey is filled with fascinating insights into how our technologies, our bodies, and our attitudes can change our perceptions. Ultimately, time reveals itself as something personal that rides on the rhythms of our minds.

Joseph Mazur is professor emeritus of mathematics at Marlboro College. His previous books include Euclid in the Rainforest: Discovering Universal Truth in Logic and Math and Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence. He lives in Marlboro, VT.

“A journey of discovery in which Mazur, wise in the ways of the wild, invites us to see the edges of the known. This powerful investigation combines formidable research, mathematical expertise, and profound contemplations.”—William Goldbloom Bloch, author of The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel