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By Schiller C.

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By the way, when Galileo studied motion in the 17th century, there were no stopwatches in the shops yet. He thus had to build one himself, in order to measure times in the range between a fraction and a few seconds. Can you guess how he did it? Challenge 494 What time is it at the north pole now? Ref. 24 Does time flow? Wir k¨onnen keinen Vorgang mit dem ‘Ablauf der Zeit’ vergleichen – diesen gibt es nicht –, sondern nur mit einem anderen Vorgang (etwa dem Gang des Chronometers). 3611 See page 360 Ref.

22 ∗ This internal clock is more accurate than often imagined, especially when trained. For times between a few tenths of a second, as necessary for music, and a few minutes, people can achieve accuracies of a few percent. Only recently did it became clear what type of clock forms this personal time. It seems that macroscopic currents flowing around the brain in loops of about 10 cm size are at the basis of our own, conscious feeling of time. Many other clocks are also part of the human body; the time keepers for shorter times are electrical oscillators at cellular level, such as for the heart beat, and for longer times chemical reactions, such as in the monthly period.

Every clock reminds us that in order to understand time, we need to understand motion. Cheap literature often suggests the opposite, in contrast to the facts. Our first thought about clocks is that they do exist; this means that in nature there somehow is an intrinsic, natural and ideal way to measure time. Can you see which one? Time is not only an aspect of observations, it is also a facet of personal experience. Even in ones’s innermost private life, in one’s thoughts, feelings and dreams, one experiences ∗ The oldest clocks are sundials.

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