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B. H. Jacobsen

Grasping Deep Time with Scaled Space in Personal Environs

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Deep time comprises the deep past before written history all the way back to the Big Bang as well as the deep future from the time of our grandchildren and beyond the lifetime of our Sun. Numerous installations called time walks or geology paths have previously been designed to communicate the history of geology and evolution. The present project differs from these examples in that the scaling of time is fixed, and the scale is defined so that 1 mm represents the life expectancy of a young person, i.e. 100 years. At this scale, written history fits on a credit card, 1 m measures the time of modern man, the age of dinosaurs ended at 650 m and the Big Bang is 137 km away. This choice obviously makes mental calculations easy, and all of time fits inside a geographical area of moderate size and so helps the citizen gain ownership to this learning tool and hence to time. The idea was tested around Copenhagen. The installation integrated a manned NowGate where present climate issues could be discussed in the light of known events of the recent 100,000 years and the likely/potential events of the coming 100,000 years. The deeper past was installed as a marked walking path back to 390 million years (3.9 km); the full path of time from the Big Bang to the death of the Sun was installed as a downloadable kmz file for Google Earth, linking to 25 video narratives recorded on location along the path.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoscience Research and Outreach : Schools and Public Engagement
EditorsVincent C. H. Tong
Number of pages21
VolumeVol. 21, Part IV
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
Publication year1 Jan 2014
ISBN (print)978-94-007-6942-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-6943-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
SeriesInnovations in Science Education and Technology

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