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Theories of Time

  • HSNY at the General Society Library 20 West 44th Street New York, NY, 10036 United States (map)

Dr. Demetrios Matsakis - Chief Scientist for Time Services, U.S. Naval Observatory

Video recordings of meetings are available to HSNY members.

Philosophers have speculated on the nature of time for millennia. Einstein brought the question to a new level, but today many scientists and philosophers think they have an even deeper understanding. Unfortunately they don't always agree with each other.  At the November meeting of the Horological Society of New York, Dr. Demetrios Matsakis will give an equationless review of some of these theories, and let you decide what to believe.

About Dr. Demetrios Matsakis
Dr. Demetrios Matsakis is a physicist who went to MIT and U.C. Berkeley, where he studied under the Nobel-prize winning professor who invented the laser, and constructed two special-purpose lasers to study the molecular clouds where stars are born. After graduating he used radio astronomy to measure the wobbles in the Earth’s rotation, by looking at quasars near the edge of the observable universe. Later he became interested in timekeeping with atomic clocks and rapidly spinning neutron stars (pulsars). He went on to manage the Time Service Department of the US Naval Observatory, which uses over 100 atomic clocks to set the time for GPS and much of the world. Under his management, a set of four atomic fountains were designed and built, measuring time to 16 decimal places. This is currently the most precise 24x7 measurement system ever built by mankind to measure anything. He is a past president of the International Astronomical Union’s Time Commission, has served on many international commissions related to the timekeeping art, represented the U.S. in Geneva, and published over 100 papers along with one short story that is admittedly pure science fiction.

Dr. Demetrios Matsakis

Video courtesy The Atlantic.