Have you ever missed an appointment because you were a few minutes late? If you have, then you will agree that time is an important concept. The concept of time, what it means, and how it started are some questions that have worried humans for ages.
Time is an important phenomenon in all fields of life, be it religion, philosophy, science, or art. These fields tend to disagree on matters regarding the definition and understanding of this concept.
However, this informative article will do justice to one of the most asked questions of the ages - What is time?
The Definition - What Is Time?
For a quick definition, time is the unending progression of existence and occurrences. It is irreversibly moving from the past through the present into the future.
Simply put, time flows. One second ago is the past, the present second is the present, and the next second is the future. Seconds become minutes, minutes become hours, hours become days, days become weeks, and so on.
Who Invented the Concept of Time?
Ever wondered who invented the concept of time? The short answer is Hipparchus. He is a Greek astronomer born in Nicaea, and he invented the concept of time. His work primarily took place between 147 and 127 B.C.
Hipparchus observed equal hours of daylight and darkness on equinox days. He proposed dividing the day into 24 equinoctial hours based on the 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness he observed.
When did humans start keeping time?
Our parents and school teachers taught us how to keep time, but where does the concept of keeping time come from?
Archaeological findings show that humans started keeping time at least 5000 years ago. The Babylonians and Egyptians started the process of keeping time. They had calendars used to organize and coordinate communal activities and public events.
The calendars also helped them monitor the agricultural circle of planting and harvesting. For thousands of years, humans have invented devices to aid them in monitoring and planning their time. The Egyptians, as old as 2000 B.C, used large obelisks to track the sun's movement.
Is time an invention or a discovery?
Time is neither an invention nor a discovery. Time is always present. What we invented are objects for measuring and keeping time. Humans started measuring time to keep track of events and occurrences. Keeping time also helps us monitor and keep track of the speed with which events happen.
How Do We Measure Time?
Time although neither invented nor discovered, is measurable. So how do we measure time? We measure time every day using our clocks and calendar.
What are the two methods of measuring time?
The methods used in measuring time are dependent on the accuracy required and period under consideration. The methods are;
Clock: A clock is a physical mechanism that counts the ongoing passage of time. It measures time more accurately for periods less than a day.
Calendar: This method measures time for a more extensive period. It measures periods longer than a day.
Typically, both methods are used together to specify when a particular event occurs in time. For instance, 10:00 AM on 20th October 2020.
Is Time Linear or Circular?
While the traditional watch dial is circular and reads in a circular motion, time is indeed linear. Time moves in a straight line, from past to present and to the future.
The movement of time is evident in our changing physical appearance and the appearance of things around us. For instance, you look older than you did ten years ago.
What Is a Clock?
A clock is a mainstay gadget in all our homes. It is a time-measuring device. Clocks can be mechanical or electrical. Clocks indicate hours, minutes, and sometimes seconds by hands on a round dial or displayed figures.
What is the purpose of the clock?
The main function of a clock is to display time. But modern clocks do more than just display intra-day time. Clocks these days are equipped with mechanisms that measure days and room temperatures too.
What is an alarm clock?
Ever needed to wake up from deep sleep quickly? That's what an alarm clock does for you. An alarm clock is a clock equipped with a device programmed to sound at a time set in advance. There are several variations of alarm clocks, depending on your needs. They include:
- Analog alarm clocks
- Atomic alarm clocks
- Bluetooth alarm clocks
- Digital alarm clocks
- Projection alarm clocks
- Retro alarm clocks
- Smart alarm clocks
- Sunrise alarm clocks
- Wind-up alarm clocks
Alarm clocks are timekeeping machines, and they serve to remind you of your engagements with their loud alert system.
What is a Timer?
Do you need to know how long it takes you to perform an activity? A clock equipped with a timer or a timer is the device for you. A timer is a specialized type of clock used to measure specific time intervals. There are two types of timers;
- Stopwatch: This timer counts upwards from point zero. You use a stopwatch to measure the time elapsed while performing an activity.
- Timer: A timer counts down from an already set time. You use a timer to apportion time spent on an activity. An example is the bathroom timer and the brush timer, used for measuring the amount of time spent in the bathroom or while brushing.
Time is an important concept, and understanding how time works as well as how to measure it makes us functional humans. This article aims to shed light on different questions we might have regarding the concept of time while providing comprehensive answers.