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# Hour Hand|Definition & Meaning

## Definition

In an **analog** **clock**, the smallest of the three hands that refers to the hours is called an **hour hand**. The **hour hand** makes one complete revolution of the **clock** in 12 hours.

## What Is an Hour Hand?

The **hour hand**, also known as the shorthand, is a pointer on a **clock** or watch that indicates the **hour** of the day. It is typically shorter than the **minute** hand, which is used to indicate the **minutes**. The **hour**-hand rotates around the **clock** face, completing one full rotation every 12 hours or half a rotation every 6 hours.

The **hour hand** is an essential component of a **clock** or watch, as it allows the user to tell the time quickly and accurately. This is because the **hour hand** points to the **hour** markers on the **clock** face, which are usually large and marked. The **hour** markers on a **clock** face can be Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, or even simple dots or lines.

It is typically driven by a gear train, which is powered by the **clock**‘s or watch’s main spring or battery. The gear train is a series of gears that transmit power from the main spring or battery to the **hour hand**, causing it to rotate at a steady and precise rate.

The **hour hand** is also attached to the center of the **clock** or watch by a pivot, which allows it to rotate smoothly and freely around the **clock** face.

## What Is an Analog Clock?

An **analog** **clock** is a traditional **clock** that uses hands to indicate the time. It is also called a “mechanical **clock**” or “traditional **clock**” because it uses mechanical parts such as gears, springs, and a pendulum to keep time. The **clock** face is usually round and divided into numbers, usually 12, that indicate the hours of the day.

The **clock** face usually has two hands, the shorter one (the **hour hand**) that indicates the **hour** and the longer one (the **minute** hand) that indicates the **minutes**. Some **analog** **clocks** may also have a third hand (the **second** hand) that indicates the **seconds**.

Analog **clocks** are widely used in many different settings, such as homes, offices, schools, and public spaces. They are often used as wall **clocks**, table **clocks**, and even wristwatches. They are considered to be more traditional and classic in design, and many people find them to be more aesthetically pleasing than digital **clocks**.

## How Are Analog Clocks Useful in Mathematics?

Analog **clocks** can be useful in mathematics in several ways:

### Teaching Time

An **analog** **clock** can be used to teach students how to tell time, read the **clock** face, and understand the concepts of hours, **minutes**, and **seconds**.

### Solving Word Problems

They are used to help students visualize and solve word problems that involve time. For example, if a train leaves at 3:00 PM and arrives at 5:00 PM, how long was the train ride?

### Understanding Angles

Such **clocks** can be used to teach students about angles and how the **hour** and **minute** hands on a **clock** form different angles as time passes.

### Measurement

They are used to teach students about measurement by having them measure the time it takes for an event to occur and compare it to the time on an **analog** **clock**.

### Elapsed Time

Analog **clocks** can be used to teach students about elapsed time, which is the amount of time that has passed between two events. For example, if a student starts a math test at 1:00 PM and finishes at 2:00 PM, the elapsed time is one **hour**.

### Calculating Speed

To teach students how to calculate speed by measuring the time it takes for an object to travel a certain distance and dividing it by the distance traveled.

### Geometry

To teach geometric concepts such as circles, radii, and central angles.

## What Is a Digital Clock?

A digital **clock** is a type of **clock** that displays the time using digits (numbers) rather than hands on a **clock** face. The time is typically displayed on an **LED, LCD,** or another type of **digital** **display**.

They can be found in a wide variety of settings, including homes, **offices**, **schools**, and public spaces. They can be in the form of wall **clocks**, alarm **clocks**, **stopwatches**, and even **wristwatches**.

Digital **clocks** are known for their accuracy and ease of use. They often have the ability to set alarms, display the date, and have other features such as a **stopwatch**, **countdown** **timer**, and **temperature** display. They are also easy to read, especially for people with vision impairments or for those in dimly lit areas.

These **clocks** are powered by batteries or an AC adapter, and they use a quartz crystal oscillator to keep time, which is a device that generates a precise electrical signal that drives the **clock**. This allows for a high degree of **accuracy** and **precision** in **timekeeping**.

## What Defines an Hour on a Clock?

An **hour** on a **clock** is defined as a period of time that is equal to 1/24th of a day. The standard definition of an **hour** is based on the time it takes for the Earth to complete one rotation on its axis, which is approximately 24 hours.

An **hour** is separated into 60 equal parts, called **minutes, **and each **minute** is further divided into 60 equal parts, called **seconds**. Therefore, one **hour** is equal to 60 **minutes** or 3600 **seconds**.

Analog **clocks** and watches use a system of gears and a pendulum to divide the **hour** into smaller units of time, such as **minutes** and **seconds**. The **minute** hand points to the **minute** markers, which are usually smaller and less prominent, and the **second** hand, if present, points to the **second** markers, which are usually even smaller and less prominent.

## Useful Facts About the Hour Hand

The **hour hand**, also known as the shorthand, is a pointer on a **clock** that indicates the **hour** of the day.

It is shorter than the **minute** hand, which is used to indicate the **minutes**.

It rotates around the **clock** face, completing one full rotation every 12 hours or half a rotation every 6 hours.

It is an essential component of a **clock**, as it allows the user to tell the time quickly and accurately.

It is typically driven by a gear train, which is powered by the **clock**‘s main spring or battery.

The **hour hand** is also attached to the center of the **clock** by a pivot, which allows it to rotate smoothly and freely around the **clock** face.

In a traditional **clock**, the **hour hand** is usually linked to the **minute** hand by gears, which means that when the **minute** hand moves, the **hour hand** moves too.

## Solved Examples Related to Hour Hand of a Clock

### Example 1

**a)** If the **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 12, what time is it?

**b)** If the **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at the 3, and the **minute** hand is pointing at the 12, what time is it?

**c)** If the **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 6, and the **minute** hand is pointing at 45, what time is it?

### Solution

**a)** The **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 12, which means it is 12:00 or 12 o’**clock**.

**b)** The **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 3, which means it is 3 o’**clock**. The **minute** hand is pointing at the 12, which means it is 12 **minutes** past the **hour**. Therefore, the time is 3:12.

**c)** The **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 6, which means it is 6 o’**clock**. The **minute** hand is pointing at 45, which means it is 45 **minutes** past the **hour**. Therefore, the time is 6:45.

### Example 2

If the **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 9, and the **minute** hand is pointing at 30, what time will it be in 45 **minutes**?

### Solution

The **hour hand** on a **clock** is pointing at 9, which means it is 9 o’**clock**. The **minute** hand is pointing at the 30, which means it is 30 **minutes** past the **hour**. If we add 45 **minutes** to the current time, the **hour hand** will move to point at 10, and the **minute** hand will point at 15.

*All the images are created using GeoGebra.*