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The Coriolis Force

David Tombe
Year: 2011 Pages: 3
Keywords: Coriolis Force
The Coriolis force is generally associated with the Earth's rotation, although it can arise in connection with any kind of rotation. In a paper which he wrote in 1835, French scientist Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis referred to it as the "compound centrifugal force", and that is exactly what it is. It is a compound inertial force which results when a compound motion causes two opposing centrifugal pressures to press differentially on either side of an object. When an object moves through the medium for the propagation of light, this induces an inertial pressure around the object which is manifested as kinetic energy. When this inertial pressure is asymmetrical, such as is the case in a radial or in a solenoidal field, the asymmetry is manifested as an inertial force. In meteorology, the asymmetry which leads to the Coriolis force being induced in cyclones is complicated by the fact that there are two centres of rotation involved, and hence we are dealing with a double Coriolis force. With the double Coriolis force in meteorology, there is the rotation that is centred on the Earth, and there is also the rotation that is centred on the cyclone itself.