Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 10:05:41 -0400

Author: Machele Bailey

Subject: Re: Ghost forces


Bad Spellers of the World, Untie!

So what IS the reson for the swirlling of water as it goes down the drain?
Or, better yet, why ISN'T the coriolis force responsible for this? I had
always heard, unless the water is forced such as in a toilet, if you fill the
sink with water, pull the plug and watch, you would see the coriolis force in
action. In fact, I was going to use that as an example, so I'd really like to


Richard Berg wrote:

> Ladies and gentlemen,
> Probably if we are going to discuss the Coriolis force we should start by
> spelling it correctly: C O R I O L I S
> In fact, it is a pseudoforce - an apparent force "seen" by an observer
> watching things move on the (rotating) surface of the earth. It was
> originally discovered during the Boar (sp?) war near South Africa when the
> British noticed that they had to aim their canons differently from when
> they fought in the Northern hemisphere.
> It is responsible for a host of effects, such as the difference in
> rotations of weather patterns between the northern and southern
> hemisphere, the rotation of hurricanes, tornados, and "cyclones," as well
> as the rotation of the Foucault pendulum. It is NOT responsible for the
> rotation of water as it goes down a sink drain or a toilet.
> A number of references to various aspects of the Coriolis effect will be
> found in our reference file:
> experiments # D5-11 through D5-15.
> A nice demonstration of the effect is in demonstration:
> It is often not mentioned in elementary textbooks, although it is
> probably more important, interesting, and relevant than many things that
> ARE mentioned therein.
> Dick Berg


Work like you don't need money,
love like you've never been hurt,
dance like no one's watching;
For happiness is a journey,
not a destination.
Machele Bailey
Lab Manager
Physics Department
Wake Forest University
(336) 758-5532