Coriolis effect

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The picture at the top shows an inert frame of reference, where the black object moves in a straight line. In the picture at the bottom the observer(red dot) sees the object follow a curved path, because of the Coriolis and Centrifugal effects
This storm over Iceland spins counter-clockwise due to balance between the Coriolis force and the pressure gradient force.

The Coriolis effect is a force that is found in a rotating object. Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis first described the Coriolis effect in 1835 using mathematics. The Coriolis effect can best be seen in hurricanes. In the northern hemisphere, or part of the earth, they spin clockwise, in the southern hemisphere they spin the other way. This happens because the earth spins on its tilt.

One example of the Coriolis effect that is often described is that water flows down a drain in the opposite direction in the northern and southern hemispheres. However, in reality, the force of the Coriolis effect is not strong enough to see in such a small amount of water.[1]

References[change | edit source]

  1. "Gyres and the Coriolis effect". Blue Planet: Infobursts. British Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/blueplanet/infobursts/gyres_bg.shtml. Retrieved 6 October 2013.