Image of astronomical clock from StarTalk Radio episode “Time Lords: The Science of Keeping Time” with Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Chris Hardwick
Image of astronomical clock from StarTalk Radio episode “Time Lords: The Science of Keeping Time” with Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Chris Hardwick

Time Lords: The Science of Keeping Time

Astronomical clock at the Zytglogge tower in Berne, Switzerland. Albert Einstein lived near the Zytglogge when working at the patent office in Berne. While travelling on a tram away from the tower, he thought if the tram were going at the speed of light, the clock tower would remain on the same time, while his own watch would continue to tick - proving time was relative.

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About This Episode

The Nerdist Chris Hardwick and his trusty sidekick Matt Mira provide Dr. Who references and some timely humor for our show about clocks, calendars, and leaps in time. Anthony Aveni, professor of astronomy and anthropology at Colgate University, reveals whether the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012, and provides insight into how early clocks and calendars were based not only on the Moon and Sun, but on Earth’s biology. Frank Reed, instructor of celestial navigation at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, and Robert Seaman, computer programmer for the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, talk about why leap seconds are added to our fast-paced modern lives, and contemplate the future of time synchronization. From keeping Universal Time, to neutrinos that may travel faster than light, to geo-engineering the Earth into a global clock, take some time to consider how science sets the tempo of our past, present and future.

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