Online Children's Magazine from India
Why do the hands of a clock and a watch move from left to right and not the other way around?
In fact it was just an accident.
The Ancient civilizations developed mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. The first ever clock was designed by the Egyptians and it is called the Sundial. The working of the Sundial is based on the rotation of the earth around the sun. As the earth turns on its axis, the sun appears to move across the sky. The shadows cast by the sun moves in a clockwise (hence the definition of clockwise) direction for objects in the northern hemisphere. If the same sundial is used in southern hemisphere (E.g. Australia, the shadows cast by the sun moves in an anticlockwise direction. Sundials designed for Italy will work in Australia, but the numbers will be backwards.
Since the first clock was designed in Egypt which lies in northern hemisphere, every clock designed later followed the same rule i.e clockwise.
If our ancestors would have decided to develop the civilization in Southern Africa, or New Zealand, or in Australia, the clockwise direction would have been counterclockwise, simply because everything is reversed towards the south of the Equator.
Around us there are many natural things that move in counterclockwise direction. Positive things and natural things have always been linked to counterclockwise direction movements.
Let’s talk about a few:-
• For all the athletes and runners, running counterclockwise is better for flow of blood than clockwise because the heart is located on the left side of the body.
• The main vein takes blood, from left to right, to the heart, aided by suction. Centrifugal force due to counterclockwise action helps this. If we were to run clockwise, the centrifugal force would disrupt suction.
• The Muslim faithful also circumambulate the Ka’aba seven times during their Hajj pilgrimage, which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam, and also during Umrah.
• It’s also said that humans have better visibility of space on the left side.
• The right side of the brain processes spatial recognition; which gives the left side of the vision a stronger perception of space.
• Talking about space, even our planet earth and its satellite moon rotates on its axis counterclockwise and at the same time orbits the sun counterclockwise.
• All planets in our solar system, except two, move in anticlockwise.
• Even the sun itself is rotating in anticlockwise direction only.
Here is an activity for you:
Look around and make a list of things that rotate clockwise and anticlockwise.
• After flushing how does the water drain?
• In which direction does the fan rotate?
• Cut a small piece of stem from a shrub with two leaves on top and drop it from a height. Watch the direction in which it rotates while falling.
• Check how you draw a single stroke circle, triangle, square and a star without lifting the pen.
• In June 2014, the numerals on the clock on the facade of the building housing the Bolivian Congress in La Paz, Bolivia have been reversed and the hands set to run anticlockwise in proud affirmation of the Andean nation's "southernness". Its hands turn left and the numbers have been inverted to go from one to 12 anti-clockwise. The Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca dubbed it the "clock of the south". He said the change had been made to get Bolivians to treasure their heritage and show them that they could question established norms and think creatively. The minister also revealed that delegates at the G77 and China summit in Bolivia had received the reverse clocks as presents. As well as running anticlockwise, he said, the desk clocks bestowed on visiting dignitaries were in the shape of the Bolivian map.
• The most famous feature of Münster Cathedral (St. Paul's Cathedral of the Westphalia region in Northwest Germany) is the magnificent astronomical clock, made in 1540-43. Unlike modern clocks, the Münster clock is divided into 24 hours, runs counterclockwise, and indicates hours and minutes simultaneously.
• Now a days there are many companies that make anticlockwise clocks and are available at online stores.
Do you want to turn your clock to anticlockwise?
[Ask for permission and help from your parents before doing this]
• It is so simple.
• Open the clock’s back cover.
• Note down the position of each wheels.
• Slowly remove the wheels (two or three on the top) one after another carefully.
• Without disturbing the coil, remove the ferrite rod slowly. [Do not remove the coil]
• Reverse the ferrite road and insert it.
[The ferrite rod is fixed on three pins. Two are on one side and one on the other side. After reversing the ferrite rod the top pin may not fit. In that case cut it and remove.]
• Re-fix the removed wheels and the cover.
• Insert the battery and see the clock moving anticlockwise!
• Draw a new dial to suit your Anticlockwise Clock.
Ferrite Rod actual position
Ferrite rod reversed.
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