By Jimena Canales

ISBN-10: 0226093182

ISBN-13: 9780226093185

In the past due 15th century, clocks received minute palms. A century later, moment fingers seemed. however it wasn’t until eventually the 1850s that tools may perhaps realize a 10th of a moment, and, when they did, the effect on glossy technology and society used to be profound. Revealing the historical past in the back of this infinitesimal period, A 10th of a Second sheds new mild on modernity and illuminates the paintings of vital thinkers of the final centuries.

Tracing debates concerning the nature of time, causality, and unfastened will, in addition to the creation of recent technologies—telegraphy, images, cinematography—Jimena Canales locates the reverberations of this “perceptual second” all through tradition. as soon as scientists linked the 10th of a moment with the rate of notion, they built response time experiments with lasting implications for experimental psychology, body structure, and optics. Astronomers and physicists struggled to regulate the profound results of effects that have been a 10th of a moment off. And references to the period have been a part of a normal inquiry into time, attention, and sensory adventure that concerned rethinking the contributions of Descartes and Kant.

Considering its impression on for much longer time sessions and that includes appearances via Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, and Albert Einstein, between others, A 10th of a Second is finally a huge contribution to historical past and a singular point of view on modernity.

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Extra resources for A Tenth of a Second: A History

Sample text

It starts in 1922, when short moments of time were discussed during the famous confrontation between the French philosopher Henri Bergson and Einstein on the meaning of relativity. While Bergson and others tried to think of the theory of relativity in light of these moments, Einstein successfully managed to exclude them. Einstein’s widely perceived “victory” against Bergson heralded a new era, where physics could advance unfettered by the questions that had so greatly preoccupied late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century philosophy.

Urbain Le Verrier, “Théorie et tables du mouvement apparent du soleil,” Annales de l’Observatoire impérial de Paris 4 (1858). 02´´). Both of these values differed markedly from the ones obtained from direct measurements during an 1842 total eclipse. 54. Arago disagreed with the attribution of the “origin” of the discovery of personal errors in measurements of length to Baily. He called it a petite malice from Faye. Arago insisted it was him, and not the British astronomer, who was the discoverer.

Masson, 1878), 144; Henri Beaunis, Nouveaux éléments de physiologie humaine comprenant les principes de la physiologie comparée et de la physiologie générale, 2nd ed. -B. Baillière et Fils, 1881), 2:1363, and Nouveaux éléments de physiologie humaine comprenant les principes de la physiologie comparée et de la physiologie générale, 3rd ed. -B. Baillière et fils, 1888), 2:801; A. Rémond, Recherches expérimentales sur la durée des actes psychiques les plus simples et sur la vitesse des courants nerveux à l’état normal et à l’état pathologique (Paris: Octave Doin, 1888), 11; Edmund C.

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A Tenth of a Second: A History by Jimena Canales


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