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Coriolis acceleration right hand rule? please help?

  1. Dec 21, 2011 #1
    Can somebody please explain ( properly)with examples , how the right hand rule describes the direction of coriolis acceleration? please!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2011 #2
    the Coriolis force is something like v x omega and the cross product follows the right hand rule in a right handed coordinate system.
  4. Dec 21, 2011 #3
    The Coriolis term is [itex]\textbf{}F_C{}[/itex] = -2m[itex]\textbf{}Ω[/itex][itex]\times[/itex][itex]\textbf{}v[/itex]

    Where Ω is the angular velocity and v is the velocity of the body you are observing from the rotating reference frame.

    To give an example imagine you are rotating with some constant angular velocity. For definiteness let's say you are rotating counter-clockwise. Then the angular velocity vector points upwards out of your head.

    Now you observe a body somewhere around you. To determine the direction of the Coriolis effect you take the cross product between your angular velocity and the velocity of the body.

    Again, for definiteness, let's say when you first observe the body it is directly in front of you and has a velocity to your left. (After this instant things will change of course, but that is what we are trying to find out).

    Using the right-hand rule your thumb is pointing upwards in the direction of angular velocity. Your index finger points in the direction of the velocity of the body which should be to your left. Now your middle finger should point towards yourself, but there is a minus sign we must look at, so the Coriolis effect points outwards away from you, rather than towards you.

    I hope that is correct and that it helps. :smile:
  5. Dec 22, 2011 #4
    Thanks that does help, but I am still puzzled on how to determine the cartesian coordinates (x,y,z) , for the rotating reference frame ? any ideas please?
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