Coriolis force

hands-on

Coriolis force

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Michel Darche
Regis Goiffon

Have you already tried to reach a target when you are moving to the right? You need to aim at the left of the target if you wish to reach it. Same thing if the target is moving slower than you. Your target seems to be deviated by a fictitious force, the Coriolis force. It is the French mathematician G. G. de Coriolis (1792-1843) who was the first to explain the influence of the Earth rotation on the winds and marine streams. He did so through theoretical work on composed centrifugal forces.

Where to go to avoid hurricanes ?

It is the same Coriolos force that deviates the air molecules of the atmosphere since their speed coming from the Earth rotation varies with the latitude. A consequence is that the depressions rotate in the clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere. The place to avoid hurricanes is at the equator where no depression can form because the Coriolis force is almost zero there.

This module is part of the MPE exhibition. You can rent this module for a lumpsum fee. A detailed manual how to rebuild this module will be shared.

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