Meeting Information

The Nature of Time from the Planck Time until Now, and Maybe Beyond

June 15, 2022

Date: June 15, 2022
Speaker: Harold A. Williams, Montgomery College
Title: The Nature of Time from the Planck Time until Now, and Maybe Beyond
Time: 1:00 p.m. Talk goes from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Attendees can sign in any time after 12:30 p.m.

Abstract: The Planck time is square_root( G ħ/ c^5 ), which is approximately 5.4 x 10^-44 seconds. It is the time scale that arises naturally from the natural constants G (the Newtonian gravitational constant), ħ, pronounced h bar, (the Planck constant, h, divided by 2π), and c (the speed of causality: the speed of electromagnetism and gravity in a vacuum). Max Planck discovered this combination of natural constants by using dimensional analysis, in 1899, a year before he discovered his epochal formula for the spectrum of blackbody radiation (electromagnetic radiation in thermal equilibrium) in December of 1900 in Prussian Academy of Sciences, His discovery was reported in the article – Max Planck 'Über irreversible Strahlungsvorgänge', in the Sitzungsberichte der Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, vol. 5, p. 440-479-480 (1899). The talk will consider what the value of the Planck time tells us about our Universe.

Biography: Dr. Harold A. Williams has been the director of the Montgomery College Planetarium since 1990. He is also the coordinator of the Physics laboratories and the head of the Astronomy program. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Williams received his bachelor of science degree with a double major in physics and mathematics from Florida State University. He received his Master of Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his doctorate from Louisiana State University, where he studied star formation by using 3D explicit Eulerian hydrodynamics. At LSU, Dr. Williams first started teaching astronomy and learning how to use telescopes and run a planetarium. Dr. Williams continued his star formation studies for two years after leaving LSU as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He is a long-time member of the National Capital Astronomers.

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