L965 Fall 2018 Astronomy and the Modern Social Concept of Time
Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept 26
Instructor: Jeffrey L. Kretsch
Coordinator: Mary Kornreich
Today we routinely look at our watch or a calendar to determine the time and plan our activities. This course covers historically how time was determined by the sun, moon and stars. Originally time was a very local thing determined by the sun and every town and city had their own time. With the rise of fast communication through the telegraph and telephone and fast travel by train, suddenly the issue of whose time to use arose. Time further became more central to our lives with the industrial revolution and the use of time to determine how employees are paid. The need for train schedules led to the implementation of standard time zones. The apparent motion of the sun and stars over the year, the seasons, and lunar and planetary cycles will be covered. An optional night field observing session will also be included.
Dr. Jeffrey L Kretsch is a retired federal employee who worked in research and development. He has a PhD from Purdue University and MS and BA degrees in astronomy and physics.