atime defines the last access time.
Seems you want that? But that is apparently not the same as the date you use in Finder.
ls -lu for the date
Mac OS X also uses the "HFS meta data" (or: "Finder info") to store dates. For example: Unix does not store file creation dates. The
cdate in Unix is really the change date (including, for example, changes in access permissions, so
cdate gets a new value in slightly different occasions than the modification date for
mdate). Using this metadata, Mac OS X can still keep the details.
There are several options to show (some of) those dates, like:
mdfind one can search for specific meta data. But it uses the Spotlight index, so I guess it might not find everything.
Like to find files that are excluded from Time Machine backups:
sudo mdfind "com_apple_backup_excludeItem = 'com.apple.backupd'"
To search based on the creation date, use
kMDItemFSCreationDate. For the last opened date:
kMDItemLastUsedDate. But note that files which have been created through certain Terminal commands, may not have that meta data set:
echo "Hello world" > ~/Desktop/hello-world.txt
mdfind -onlyin ~/Desktop 'kMDItemFSCreationDate >= $time.this_week'
After opening "will-not-be-found.txt" in Text Edit, you'll see the file after all.
See also the Spotlight Query Syntax.