This story now
IN Science & Technology ON 29 Jun, 2016
We all are so used to the clockwise rotation of the clock hands that we can never imagine it being any other way.
But, what factor decides that what direction should be clockwise and what would be counter-clockwise?
Why did the inventors make the clock tick left to right and gave birth to the clockwise term? The answer goes way back in time.
Since Earth moves counter-clockwise thus if you are in Northern hemisphere, from your point of view sun appears to move across the sky from left to right direction (clockwise).
Before the mechanical clocks we know now, people used to tell time by sundials. A sundial tells time by the position of the sun in the sky. As the sun moves, the shadow moves along the hour lines marked on the dial.
Since the sundials were discovered in the Northern hemisphere the shadow also moved from left to right (clockwise), since then all the clocks follow the same direction.
Though we now use mechanical clocks and the direction does not matter we can make the clocks move counter clockwise but since the people got used to the left to right movement of sundials all the clocks, later on, were made similarly and we started to call left to right movement clockwise direction.
The clock of the Duomo in Florence is one of the oldest functional mechanical clocks. Paolo Uccello himself painted the dial. The tip rotates counterclockwise.
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