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Coriolis force question

by FermatPell
Tags: coriolis, force
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FermatPell
#1
Jan12-11, 10:35 AM
P: 22
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Imagine that you are an observer in space (so you are in an inertial system), when the cannon (located on the equator) fires a cannonball in north direction. What does the trajectory of the cannonball look like from your perspective? Is it a straight line (that would mean that the cannonball is not affected by Earth's rotation) or something like a spiral?


2. Relevant equations


3. The attempt at a solution

I think that, since the only real force acting on the body is the gravitational force, the trajectory is like a spiral. I also know that no Coriolis force exists in my inertial frame of reference. Am I right?
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zorro
#2
Jan12-11, 04:47 PM
P: 1,394
Quote Quote by FermatPell View Post
I think that, since the only real force acting on the body is the gravitational force, the trajectory is like a spiral. I also know that no Coriolis force exists in my inertial frame of reference. Am I right?
The question is not so clear for me. This is what I think-
If you consider the earth to be an inertial frame of reference, then the trajectory of the ball would be a straight line.
If you consider the earth to be a non-inertial frame of reference (take its rotation in account), then the trajectory of the ball would be similar to a spiral.

In both the above cases, you are in an inertial frame of reference, so there will not be any Coriolis force.
willem2
#3
Jan13-11, 01:31 AM
P: 1,396
If you don't shoot the cannonball faster than escape velocity, the orbit will be an ellipse. Look up two-body problem. Of course the ellipse will intersect the surface of the earth again at some point.


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