David Helfand

Columbia University, Professor

The Universal Timekeepers: Reconstructing Pre-History Atom by Atom

By utilizing the basic building blocks of matter as imperturbable little clocks, we are now able to reconstruct in quantitative detail a remarkable range of human and natural events. From a detailed history of human diet and the Earth's climate to the events surrounding the origin of the Solar System and the history of the Universe itself, these universal timekeepers provide us with a precise chronology from the beginning of time to the moment humans emerge to contemplate such questions.