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Homework Help: Coriolis force on a race car

  1. Oct 18, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Find the magnitude and direction of the Coriolis force on a racing car of mass 10 metric tons travelling due south at a speed of 400km/hr at a lattitude of 45 degrees north.

    2. Relevant equations

    [tex]F_{cor}=-2m\omega\times v[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    [tex]\omega=2\pi/(24*3600 \quad seconds)[/tex]
    [tex]v=400km/hr=400/3600 \quad km/second[/tex]
    [tex]-2 m\omega\times v=-2m\omega v sin(45) \quad Newtons \quad east = -114.27 \quad Newtons \quad east = 114.27 \quad Newtons \quad west[/tex]

    The answer in the back of my book says "41 nt west"
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2016 #2


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    v = 400 km/hour according to the problem statement.
    I do not see you account for the mass of the race car.
    Math not checked.
  4. Oct 18, 2016 #3
    Updated my post to fix those mistakes. I mistyped 800km/hr in my post but I used 400km/hr in my calculation. Taking mass into account my answer is scaled by a factor of 10000, so it's still different from the answer in the back of the book.
  5. Oct 18, 2016 #4


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    My result matches yours. Note that the race car mass is only given to two significant figures. Our result should be reported as 110 N (or 1.1x102N)
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