A Clock Stopped at the Moment Feynman's Wife Died

Sometimes we can actually pin down the explanation of a weird coincidence. A great American scientist called Richard Feynman tragically lost his wife to cancer, and the clock in her room stopped at precisely the moment she died. Goose-pimples! But Dr Feynman was not a great scientist for nothing. He worked out the true explanation. The clock was faulty. If you picked it up and tilted it, it tended to stop. When Mrs Feynman died, the nurse needed to record tl the time for the official death certificate. The sickroom was rather dark, so she picked up the clock and tilted it towards the window in order to read it. And that was the moment at which the clock stopped. Not a miracle at all, just a faulty mechanism.

Even if there had been no such explanation, even if the clock's spring really had wound down to a stop at exactly the moment when Mrs Feynman died, we shouldn't be all that impressed. No doubt at any minute of every day or night. quite a lot of clocks in America stop. And quite a lot of people die every day To repeat my earlier point, we don't bother to spread the 'news' that 'My clock stopped at exactly 4.50 p.m., and (would you believe it?) nobody died.'


But he traced the phenomenon to a faulty mechanism in the clock that triggered when the nurse picked it up to record the time of death.

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Clock (0.939962): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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 The Magic of Reality
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Dawkins, Richard (2011-10-04), The Magic of Reality, Simon and Schuster, Retrieved on 2012-01-01
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: science wonder adolescent