A Tenth of a Second: A History by Jimena Canales

By Jimena Canales

In the overdue 15th century, clocks obtained minute arms. A century later, moment fingers seemed. however it wasn’t until eventually the 1850s that tools might realize a 10th of a moment, and, when they did, the influence on sleek technology and society was once profound. Revealing the heritage in the back of this infinitesimal period, A 10th of a Second sheds new gentle on modernity and illuminates the paintings of vital thinkers of the final centuries.

Tracing debates in regards to the nature of time, causality, and unfastened will, in addition to the creation of recent technologies—telegraphy, images, cinematography—Jimena Canales locates the reverberations of this “perceptual second” all through tradition. as soon as scientists linked the 10th of a moment with the rate of proposal, they constructed response time experiments with lasting implications for experimental psychology, body structure, and optics. Astronomers and physicists struggled to regulate the profound outcomes of effects that have been a 10th of a moment off. And references to the period have been a part of a normal inquiry into time, awareness, and sensory adventure that concerned rethinking the contributions of Descartes and Kant.

Considering its impression on for much longer time classes and that includes appearances by means of Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, and Albert Einstein, between others, A 10th of a Second is eventually a massive contribution to heritage and a unique point of view on modernity.

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A. F. Peters, Ueber die Bestimmung des Längenunterschiedes zwischen Altona und Schwerin, ausgeführt im Jahre 1858 durch galvanische Signale (Altona: Hammerich & Lesser, 1861). 24. Rodolphe Radau, “La Vitesse de la volonté,” Le Moniteur scientifique 5 (1868): 91. 26 Du Bois-Reymond and Radau argued that the decisive step in transforming these experiments into measurements for the speed of thought was currently undertaken by Donders. Étienne-Jules Marey, the physiologist best known for his use of the graphic method and chronophotography, also adopted this particular interpretation.

1983). For accounts that consider French experimental psychology as limited and flawed compared to German, see Françoise Parot, “La Psychologie scientifique française et ses instruments au début du XXe siècle,” in Studies in the History of Scientific Instruments, ed. Christine Blondel et al. (London: Rogers Turner Books, 1989); Kurt Danziger, Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research, ed. William R. Woodward and Mitchell G. Ash, Cambridge Studies in the History of Psychology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); John I.

Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1996); Robert M. Brain and M. Norton Wise, “Muscles and Engines: Indicator Diagrams and Helmholtz’s Graphical Methods,” in The Science Studies Reader, ed. Mario Biagioli (New York: Routledge Press, 1999). 12. For comparisons between telegraph networks and the nervous system, see Christoph Hoffmann, “Helmholtz’ Apparatuses: Telegraphy as a Working Model of Nerve Physiology,” Philosophie Scientiae 7 (2003); Iwan Rhys Morus, “â•›‘The Nervous System of Britain’: Space, Time and the Electric Telegraph in the Victorian Age,” British Journal for the History of Science 33 (2000).

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