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Clockwise and Counterclockwise

Date: 03/19/2001 at 13:07:07
From: hannah
Subject: Help!

Hi Dr. Math,

I don't know what to write if I have a question that says: What does 
clockwise mean?

Yours sincerely,

Date: 03/19/2001 at 15:25:13
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Help!

Hi Hannah,

Draw (or just imagine) a big circle on the floor. Walk around the 

There are two directions you can go, right? If you move in one 
direction, the center of the circle stays to your right. If you move 
in the other direction, the center of the circle stays to your left. 

Now imagine that the circle is the face of a clock, and think about 
which way the hands would move. If you walk in the same direction as 
the hands (with the center of the circle to your right), you're moving 
'clockwise' - that is, the way a clock moves. 

If you walk in the other direction (with the center of the circle to 
your left), you're moving 'counter-clockwise' - that is, opposite to 
the way a clock moves. 

I hope this helps. Let me know if you'd like to talk about this some 
more, or if you have any other questions. 

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum   
Associated Topics:
Elementary Circles
Elementary Definitions
Middle School Conic Sections/Circles
Middle School Definitions

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