In Search of Lost Time: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

In Search of Lost Time

1st Edition

By D York

CRC Press

248 pages

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pub: 1997-01-01
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Do you know…

that black holes can affect time?

that Stonehenge is a giant calendar?

that the Oracle Bones of the North China Plain predict the phases of the moon?

that the Pyramids are giant compasses?

how Jonathan Swift knew that Mars had two moons when he wrote Gulliver's Travels?

that the effects of black holes are described in the story of Alice in Wonderland?

that an atomic reactor existed 2 billion years ago in Equatorial Africa?

that an electron on the other side of the galaxy can deflect a billiard ball?

that Schrödingers cat is both alive and dead?

Derek York fathoms these and many other mysteries of time and space in In Search of Lost Time. A reflection of York's obsession with time and its measurement, the book discusses the mind-bending universe of the special and general theories of relativity, the ghostly world of quantum mechanics, and the unpredictable haunts of chaos.

It explores the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, and the South China plain; the universities of Cambridge, McGill, and Chicago; the Patent Office in Berne; and back to the Ethiopian desert on the banks of the Awash River. Companions to share and illuminate the path range from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland to J.B. Priestley's Dangerous Corner. It also presents the father of master-spy Kim Philby in the Empty Quarter of Arabia, the fantasist Velikovsky in the clouds, and Newton, Darwin, Rutherford, Einstein and the great Earth scientists of this century who fathomed the depths of lost time and discovered the age of the Earth.

Written in an engaging, nontechnical style, this book will delight and amaze all who encounter it.


"This is a delightful little book."

- Nature

"The trouble with time is that there is so much of it. Since writers woke up to this fact, book after book has appeared with histories of its past and histrionics about its future. So how to tell the wheat from the chaff? Try asking whether the work adds to our understanding of the meaning, measurement, or consequence of time? Derek York's In Search of Lost Time passes this test. It contains a kernel of novel material about how we learned to determine the ages of the oldest things on Earth - rocks, artifacts, and fossils - as well as how we became comfortable with a world that was not thousands but billions of years old. This is not to be found in other books on time."

- New Scientist

"This is a very enjoyable set of essays. The book is written in language that makes it accessible to the non-scientific and general reader and is well recommended."

- Aslib Book Guide

"The author's fascination … with time is obvious throughout this excellent book … thoroughly readable, highly entertaining, and totally accessible to anyone from the interested GCSE student upward …"

- Schools Science Review

"…a prodigy of divulgation and entertainment … . No doubt, it will open our eyes."

- The Science Book Board

"…he makes several difficult topics readily understandable … . A worthwhile book for anyone with some background in science looking for entertainment or enlightenment."

- Choice

Table of Contents

The Pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Chinese Oracle Bones - Same Time Next Year

The Age of the Earth - the Genesis Burden

The Age of Radioactivity

How Do You Date an Earth?

Modern-Day Adherents of Julius Africanus

A Carbon Time-Machine

Children of Time

Dinosaurs, Meteorites, and All That Jazz

Atomic Reactor Operated Two Billion Years Ago

Gulliver's Travels and Martian Moons - Time for Kepler

Chaos and Time

Time in the Quantum World

Impossible Things before Breakfast

Much Ado about Cannonballs (and Democracies) - Last Exit to Pisa, Next Exit Black Holes

The Arrow of Time

Time Enough for Our Universe

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics