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Forces and Force Balances

Online7.1: Rotation and the Coriolis Effect

This interactive tool lets you simulate the Coriolis effect by releasing balls on a rotating disc. Set the speed of the balls with the Initial radial speed. The speed of the rotating disc is changed with Rotation (positive turns the disc counterclockwise; negative turns the disc clockwise).

Start the disc rotating with Start and release the ball with Release. The red path follows the ball as seen by an observer in the viewer-specified frame of reference. The black path is the shadow the ball would leave on the disk as it rolled. Change your frame of reference to On disc and notice that the true and apparent paths of the ball are the same.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences Severe and Hazardous Weather at Department of Atmospheric Sciences University of Illinois
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