Introduction: Time: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson (02:30)
This brief overview orients viewers to the topic of time throughout history with excerpts from the program.
Steven Johnson boards a submarine to learn how the crew survives on an 18-hour day without sunlight.
Following Natural Rhythms (02:00)
Johnson discusses the impreciseness of early clocks. People relied on movements of the sun to tell time 500 years ago.
Johnson discusses the origins of modern time. In 1583, Galileo discovered that a pendulum swings in perfect time.
Maritime Navigation (03:47)
In 1598, King Phillip III offered a reward to anyone who could learn to measure longitude. Galileo set out to claim the reward.
Equal Time (02:56)
Galileo did not learn to measure longitude, but he did create an accurate pendulum clock.
Industrial Revolution (02:37)
When workers moved into factories, the need to tell time became commonplace.
Watches for the Wealthy (02:10)
In the mid-1900s a luxury, handcrafted watch was the only kind on the market.
Mass Watch Production (03:49)
In 1826, Aaron Dennison had the idea to mass produce soles for his father's shoe business. Dennison built the first factory production line for watches.
Soldier's Watch (03:09)
Dennison produced an inexpensive watch during the Civil War. Learn how wearing watches revolutionized society.
Standardizing Time (02:34)
Johnson visits Heathrow Airport to learn the importance of precise time.
Non-Standard Time (02:50)
Travel across the U.S. raised the issue of non-standard time. A railroad clerk helped launch a global system of standardized time.
William Allen (02:00)
The railroad timetable editor introduces the idea of creating standard time zones in the US.
Time Controversy (02:43)
Allen lobbied around the U.S. to create standard time zones; he met widespread opposition.
Johnson reads an entry from Allen about the implementation of time zones. U.S. time zones led to International time zones.
Atomic Time (03:13)
In October, 1967, scientists changed the definition of time. They used atoms to measure time, similarly to a pendulum.
Leap Second (02:00)
Adding a leap second to the clock was a controversial action. Johnson visits the U.S. Master Clock.
Ultra Precise Atomic Time (02:00)
Learn how cell phones use GPS satellites to calculate time based on location.
Radiometric Clocks (03:53)
Curie showed that radioactive atoms decay at predictable rates. This technology allowed scientists to date rocks.
Clock Impacts (01:03)
In the last 400 years, clocks transformed every facet of modern life. Johnson reflects on the progression of time keeping.
Credits: Time: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson (00:30)
Credits: Time: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
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