For more than two thousand years the world's great minds have argued about the true essence of time. Is it finite or infinite? Is it continuous or discrete? Does it flow like a river or is it granular, proceeding in small bits like sand trickling through an hourglass? And most immediately, what is the present? What is time, exactly? Why does it seem to slow down when we're bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly? In this witty and meditative exploration, Alan Burdick takes readers on a personal quest to understand how and why we perceive time the way we do. He visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that 'w' actually happened a split-second ago; finds a twenty-fifth hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist's lab, even makes time go backwards. Why Time Flies is a vivid and intimate examination of the clocks that tick inside us all.
Alan Burdick is a staff writer at the New Yorker and a frequent contributor to its science-and-tech blog. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, GQ, Discover, Best American Science and Nature Writing.