Why Do Clock Hands Go Clockwise?


 

 

Why do clock hands move in a ‘clockwise’ direction?

Pretty much any analogue clock that you’ll come across has the hands moving in what has come to be called the ‘clockwise’ direction.

Obviously it would be just as easy to have the hands moving in the opposite direction, so was the direction decision just an arbitrary one or was there some kind of reasoning behind it?

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4 Responses to Why Do Clock Hands Go Clockwise?

  1. knopfman says:

    The reason that clock hands rotate in the direction that they do is because clocks were invented in the Northern hemisphere and they were modeled on sundials whose shadows move in what we now call a clockwise direction.

    If clocks had be invented in the Southern hemisphere, and been modeled on their sundials then clock hands would now move in what we now call a clockwise direction.

  2. thebear says:

    darn. I was hoping it would mean that time would go backwards!

    Stephen Fry, an intelligent Brit oft on our TV screens, mentioned that the Hadron Collider could possibly open wormholes in space/time fabric and thus be the ‘other end of the telephone line’ connection to enable time travellers from the future to come back!

    Paradox pish tish, I for one welcome my great great great great grandchildren as long as they bring gold!

    That aside, there is no known (ignore entrophy here knopfman :)) reason why time travel is impossible, we’ve already proved one proton can be in the same place at the same time !

  3. learn italian quickly says:

    Another excellent article! Details and information are presented really well, not to mention its accuracy is close to perfect and words are simple yet concise. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. As it has already been said, it’s because of the hemispheres.

    I also, kinda, have that need to cheat time a bit. I simply detest the need for atomic accuracy, although I understand it.